MELANOMA CASES HAVE DOUBLED & WILL TRIPLE BY THE YEAR 2030 by Dr. Calvin Day**
September 21, 2015
A recent U.S. government publication reports that the incidence rate of melanoma has doubled in the last 30 years. The incidence rates for melanoma, which is a deadly form of skin cancer, are expected to continue to rise with a tripling by 2030
(http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6421a6.htm?s_cid=mm6421a6_w). The report went on to say that in 2011 there were 65,647 reported cases of invasive melanomas of the skin in the United States with a corresponding 9,128 melanoma deaths.
The rise in melanoma incidence rates can apparently be prevented by adopting a national program similar to the successful one in Australia labeled “SunSmart” (http://www.sunsmart.com.au/). Apparently, much of the success of Sunsmart was and is the result of a successful marketing campaign (that includes a Smartphone app) aimed at changing personal behavior patterns with regard to the sun through public education. The free SunSmart app specifies the times of the day that you need sun protection. In addition to education, the observed desired changes in personal behavior that were achieved were apparently aided significantly by the following clever Sunsmart pneumonic:
- Slip on long sleeved clothing,
- Slap on a hat,
- Slop on sunscreen
- Sunsmart recommends use of a SPF30 or higher, broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen and lip balm at least 20 minutes before going outside to protect any part of the body that is exposed. Reapplication every two hours is recommended and facilitated by putting a small tube of sunscreen in your jacket pocket or bag. The SunSmart app has a reapplication alert function you can set so you don’t forget to reapply.
- Slide on sunglasses and
- Seek shade
- An important part of the Sunsmart program is to take from breaks by going to shaded areas during the middle part of the day.
Two following two important S’s should be added to the five on the Sunsmart skin cancer prevention list above:
- Stop trying to get a tan
- Tanning from UV light, whether it comes naturally from the sun or artificially from indoor tanning salons, not only increases your risk for skin cancer, but also causes skin wrinkles and unattractive skin spots that make you look older. So sunbathing and trips to the tanning salon to get UV treatments should be crossed off your personal behavior list.
- Sunburns are deadly
- Insofar as the relationship between melanoma and sun exposure is concerned the biggest risk factor for melanoma is the number of sunburns one has had – sunburn prevention should be the number priority.
**DR. CALVIN DAY — PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY
- Dr. Calvin Day is a self-employed medical writer and non-clinical consultant on dermatology, general medical, and general health issues.
- Dr. Day graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University (College Station), and
- Was the Salutatorian (second academically ranked student) of his 1976 medical school graduating class at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
- Following graduation from medical school, Dr. Day trained for an additional six years in the Harvard Medical School programs at Massachusetts General Hospital
o in Internal Medicine,
o Dermatology, and
- Dr. Day completed his last and seventh year of formal post medical school training as a Mohs Surgery Fellow under the tutelage of Dr. Perry Robins who officed at New York University Medical Center.
- Dr. Day was the principal author of more than 60 professional articles published in refereed medical journals, including two publications in the New England Journal of Medicine. The majority of these articles dealt with skin cancer with a focus on malignant melanoma.
- Following his formal medical training, Dr. Day, for 28 years had a private practice in San Antonio wherein he routinely logged more than 90 hours per week while building a thriving practice consisting of approximately 40,000 patients who, by in large, had skin cancer and cosmetic dermatology concerns.
- During this same 28 year period, Dr. Day devoted a portion of his time to teaching skin surgery to dermatology residents at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), where he held an appointment as “Clinical Professor of Medicine (Dermatology)”.
- In 2010, Dr. Day was honored by having a UTHSCSA dermatology professorship named after him after he declined a personal gift of $100,000 and diverted it instead to the Dermatology Program at UTHSCSA.
- From March 2009 through April 2011, Dr. Day made 126 donations to 97 different charitable organizations through charity golf tournaments.
- For seven consecutive years, from 2004 through 2010 Dr. Day was selected by Texas Monthly as one of Texas’ “Superdoctors”, and
- In 2010, he was also designated by Newsweek magazine as one of the “Best Doctors in Texas”.