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Working to prevent melanoma

Article / Review by on November 30, 2011 – 7:07 pmNo Comments

Working to prevent melanoma

Working to prevent melanoma

The most recent issue of Stanford Cancer Institute News(.pdf) contains a feature on efforts to prevent melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Among the work being done here is a campaign to raise awareness of the disease among middle-aged and older men, who have the fastest-growing incidence and mortality rates:

Men with less obvious risks — a lifetime of occupational and recreational sun exposure — are more difficult to reach, so the Stanford group developed an educational campaign called Watch Your Back.

The evidence-based campaign emphasizes the importance of clinical screening during routine medical visits, the role of spouses in skin examinations (and in helping ensure that men actually visit their doctor), and puts focus on the back, the area of the body that accounts for nearly one-third of melanomas in men.

As the article notes, other Stanford research also helped lead to a law that bans California minors from using tanning beds; studies here and elsewhere have shown that tanning bed use is linked to melanoma development.

By Michelle Brandt
Stanford University Medical Center

Photo by giopuo

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* Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

**  The above story is adapted from materials provided by Stanford University School of Medicine

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