Small, fleshy bumps—normally on ears, nose, neck, head. Slow growing, doesn’t metastasize but can’t penetrate to bony areas that require more invasive surgery.
Red, or pink scaly patches. Sometimes wart-like that forms puss in middle. Found on edge of ears, face, lips, mouth, hands.
Melanoma is a cancer that begins in skin cells that produce the skin coloring melanacytes. Melanoma consists of skin cells that have been transformed into cancer cells that grow uncontrollably. The cancer can spread to other organs—lung, liver, brain.
Higher than the national average. Fifteen years ago, Melanoma wasn’t even on the list.
‘92-96—Niobrara, Natrona, Converse, Park, Washakie ’96-00—Teton, Johnson, Park, Natrona, Washakie
More than 90% of skin cancers are caused by over-exposure of the skin to UV radiation in sunlight. Ozone layer is between 12 miles and 30 miles above the earth’s surface. UVA – not absorbed UVB – mostly absorbed UVC – absorbed by ozone and oxygen UVA & UVB cause health issues
Minutes to skin damage if unprotected.
Those at higher risk: light complexion, abnormal freckles, sunburn easily, work/recreate outdoors, family history of skin cancer, having lived in the West or South. Caucasians are at greater risk, men are more likely than women
Prevention: Limit the time you spend in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Be aware of reflective surfaces Wear clothing that covers your body and shades your face Use sunscreen Protect children Wear broad brimmed hats Wear sun glasses
What You Should Know
Randy R. Weigel
University of Wyoming
Cooperative Extension Service
•Most common cancer in US
•Fastest increasing cancer in US
•1,000,000 people had some form
of skin cancer in 2003
•Three main types
The main difference between melanomas and
other skin cancers is that melanoma can
metastasize (spread) to distant body sites
including the lungs, liver or brain.
*Seventh most common cancer in the
*One out of every 105 Americans born in 1991
will develop malignant melanoma
(compared to 1 out of 1,500 in 1935).
*The number of new cases of melanoma has more
than doubled since 1973.
•Most common cancer in young adults age
•Among women age 30-35, incidence is
exceeded only by breast cancer
•Incidence increasing 4% annually, higher than
any other cancer
•On average, one melanoma death in the U.S.
•Increase is the result of recreational sun
exposure, thinning of the ozone layer, and
•In 2001, an estimated 48,000 new cases
of melanoma occurred.
•In 2003, 54,000 new cases occurred
•In 2000, skin cancer claimed the lives of
Top 8 Invasive Cancers
Wyoming and US, 1997
Wyoming United States
Wyoming and Melanoma
•72 people died from melanoma cancer
•Wyoming ranked 2nd
in the U.S. for
melanoma deaths from 1992-1996.
•Wyoming ranked 5th
in the U.S. for melanoma
deaths from 1996-2000
•Which Wyoming counties had the highest
% of melanoma cases?
Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation
UVA – UVB - UVC
The sun radiates energy over a broad spectrum of
wavelengths. UV radiation, which has a shorter
wavelength than visible blue or violet light, is
responsible for sunburns and other health effects:
•Suppression of the immune system
•Premature aging of the skin
…We found an increased risk of melanoma
related to the frequency of sunburns
during all periods of life. More than five
sunburns doubled the melanoma risk,
irrespective of the time in life.
British Journal of Dermatology
What Can You Do?
-- that melanoma is serious
-- the importance of
-- getting in and getting it