Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The over 50 percent increase in the annual incidence of melanoma occurred in young adult Caucasian women. In the past ten years public education campaigns have targeted changing behaviors that increase the chances of developing melanoma, specifically, sun tanning. Despite these efforts, explained Mark Purdue, lead researcher at the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics, this trend "suggests that suggest that public education campaigns to educate Americans about the risks of skin cancer from sun tanning do not appear to have resulted in a reduction in melanoma rates among young women,"
'... Public education campaigns to educate Americans about the risks of skin cancer from sun tanning do not appear to have resulted in a reduction in melanoma rates among young women.'
Because the study found an increased rate of discovery of thicker and later-stage melanomas, researchers believe it is unlikely that the higher rates are related to better reporting of the disease.
While public health experts are alarmed by this trend, prevention of melanoma is still very simple: people of all ages should limit sun exposure, particularly in the middle of the day and when this is not possible, should use sunscreen that effectively blocks ultraviolet rays.