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Skin Cancer

In this year alone, an estimated 40,000 Americans will develop skin cancer(SEER, 2000).Second only to breast cancer, malignant melanoma is now emerging as the most common cancer in young adults and women, specifically women ages 40-60 (SEER, 2000). There has been a sharp rise in the incidence rates in most all-Caucasian populations worldwide. The lifetime incidence of skin cancer in the United States is 1 per 90 persons.Many results from programs indicate the age-adjusted cancer incidence rate has been increasing about 3% per year since 1973 when the rate was 319.8 per 100,000.By 1995, the rate had increased to 389.2 per 100,000.However, men's rate increase of (1.5%) is higher than females (.5%).Mortality rates for men increased during this period by 0.1% per year, while rates for women declined at a rate of –0.4% per year.Now for age specific cancer incidence rates were below 20 per 100,000 for each age group from 0-4 through 15-19, after these age groups the rates increased severely until reaching a rate of 2,570.9 for people aging 80-84 (SEER, 2000).
The prevalence of skin cancer is at least 80 per 100,000 people.The five-year survival rates (prevalence) are higher in whites (90%) than African Americans (66%).It is also higher for white women (92%) than men (87%).In addition, African American women (62%)have lower survival rate than African American men (69%) (Dermatology, 2001).On a personnel note, the fact that the African American population has lower survival rates than whites could be similar to what goes on with breast cancer.The fact that skin cancer programs and commercials are directed toward whites, African Americans might not see the importance and risk of being screened for skin cancer.So the African Americans that do get skin cancer get diagnosed it is often too late, therefore they have a less chance of survival.
More good news is the continuing fall in cancer death rates by …

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