Malignant Melanoma: Increasing Incidence of Skin Cancer in the UK (BBC News / CRUK)

Summary

It is estimated that 5,700 over-65s are diagnosed with malignant melanoma each year, compared to 600 in the mid-1970s. The over-65s were the first generation to “benefit” from cheaper foreign holidays and suntan salons. Risks of developing this condition are thought to have increased seven-fold, taking all factors into consideration.

Approximately 13,300 people in the UK are diagnosed with malignant melanoma per year, and 2,100 lives are lost annually.

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Reference

Mundasad, S. (2015). Skin cancer ‘linked to package holiday boom’. London: BBC Health News, April 6th 2015.

This relates to:

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Pensioners seven times more likely to get deadly skin cancer than 40 years ago. London: Cancer Research UK, April 6th 2015.

A survey by the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) suggests that over three-quarters of British respondents would be unable to recognise signs of skin cancer. 72% of those surveyed reported they had suffered sunburn in the past year.

The ABCDE checklist helps to differentiate between a normal mole and a melanoma:

Asymmetrical: melanomas have two different halves and are irregular in shape.

Border: unlike normal moles, melanomas have notched / ragged borders.

Colours: melanomas present a mix of two or more colours.

Diameter: unlike typical moles, melanomas are larger than 6mm (0.25in).

Enlargement / elevation: moles that change characteristics and size over time are more likely to be melanomas.

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Most Britons unaware of skin cancer signs – survey. London: BBC Health News, May 4th 2015.

More than 11 moles on right arm indicates a higher risk of skin cancer or melanoma:

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Reference

Arm mole count ‘predicts skin cancer risk’. London: BBC Health News, October 19th 2015.

Immunotherapy: a Paradigm Shift in Melanoma Treatment?

A pair of cancer drugs, taken together – namely ipilimumab and the newer immunotherapy drug nivolumab – promise to be able to shrink advanced melanoma tumours in nearly 60% of people. Immunotherapy involves using drugs to turn-off the ability of cancers to switch-off the immune system and hide from the body’s own killer cells; this may hold the key to treating many different forms of cancer.

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Reference

Walsh, F. (2015). A new era in cancer treatment? London: BBC Health News, June 1st 2015.

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Gallagher, J. (2015). Cancer drug combination ‘shrinks 60% of melanomas’. London: BBC Health News, June 1st 2015.

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Larkin, J. Chiarion-Sileni, V. [and] Gonzalez, R. [et al] (2015). Combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab or monotherapy in untreated melanoma. New England Journal of Medicine. May 31st 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

Comments on significance and context from BBC News:

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Gallagher, J. (2015). Have we cured cancer? London: BBC Health News, June 1st 2015.

Recent further breakthroughs on treatment?

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Gallagher, J. (2016). Skin cancer: pair of drugs ‘eliminate 20% of tumours’. London: BBC Health News, April 19th 2016.

NICE approves combination therapy:

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Gallagher, J. (2016). Pioneering cancer drug combination approved. London: BBC Health News, June 17th 2016.

Promising results at the European Cancer Congress on the treatment of head and neck cancer and advanced kidney cancer:

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Reference

Immunotherapy cancer drug hailed as ‘game changer’. London: BBC Health News, October 9th 2016.

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About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in BBC News, Charitable Bodies, In the News, Practical Advice, Quick Insights, Statistics, UK, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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