Deaths from Melanoma Are Down?>
Health News

Deaths from Melanoma Are Down

by Wellness Letter  

Deaths from melanoma have dropped sharply in recent years, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health that examined data collected by the CDC and National Cancer Institute over a 20-year period on close to a million Americans with this often aggressive skin cancer.

After increasing 7.5 percent among white Americans (who account for the most cases in the U.S.) between 1986 and 2013, death rates from metastatic melanoma (the most deadly because it has spread to other organs) fell 18 percent overall over the following three years, with the greatest decreases seen in men ages 50 and older.

This unprecedented decline in cancer mortality—greater than for other common cancers including breast, lung, and prostate in that same time period—is not likely due to earlier detection, the researchers noted, but rather corresponds to the introduction in the last decade of far more effective and safer (less toxic) drugs that target specific genes or enhance the immune response against the cancer cells.

Also see Get Serious About Skin Cancer.