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Head And Neck Melanomas In Young Adults Rose 50% In One Decade

Published: Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 2:05pm
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The average age of diagnosis for melanoma is 65, according to the American Cancer Society. But the skin cancer is also one of the most common among young adults.

New research in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology reports on rates of head and neck melanomas in that group.

Although they account for only one in five melanoma cases, survival rates for head and neck melanomas are far worse. 

When researchers at Saint Louis University looked at people aged 39 and younger in the U.S. and Canada, they saw those cancers increase by more than 50% between 1995 and 2014.

More than 90% of the cases occurred among U.S. residents.

Male cases slightly outpaced female — a reversal of melanoma rates in other areas of the body.

The study did not suggest causes, but the results could inform future awareness campaigns.