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Skin Cancer: What You Should Know. Randy R. Weigel University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service. Skin Cancer. Most common cancer in US Fastest increasing cancer in US 1,000,000 people had some form of skin cancer in 2003. Skin Cancer. Three main types -- basal-cell

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Skin Cancer:

What You Should Know

Randy R. Weigel

University of Wyoming

Cooperative Extension Service


Skin Cancer

  • Most common cancer in US
  • Fastest increasing cancer in US
  • 1,000,000 people had some form
  • of skin cancer in 2003

Skin Cancer

  • Three main types
  • -- basal-cell
  • -- squamous-cell
  • -- melanoma
  • 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

United States.

*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.


Melanoma (cont.)

  • Most common cancer in young adults age
  • 25-29
  • 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.
  • per hour

Melanoma (cont.)

  • Increase is the result of recreational sun
  • exposure, thinning of the ozone layer, and
  • better detection.
  • 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
  • 9,600 people.

Top 8 Invasive Cancers

Wyoming and US, 1997

Wyoming United States

Prostrate Prostrate

Breast Breast

Lung Lung

Colon Colon

Bladder Lymphoma

Melanoma Bladder

Lymphoma Melanoma

Rectal Rectal


Wyoming and Melanoma

  • 72 people died from melanoma cancer
  • from 1992-1996.
  • 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?


  • Asymmetry
  • Border
  • Color
  • Diameter


One half does not match

the other half.


Border irregularity

The edges are ragged, notched,

or blurred.



The pigmentation is not uniform.

Shades of tan, brown, or black are

present. A mottled appearance.



Greater than ¼ inch. Any sudden

or continuing increase in size is

of special concern.


Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation


  • 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:
  • Skin cancer
  • Cataracts
  • 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?

  • Increasing Awareness
  • -- that melanoma is serious
  • -- the importance of
  • prevention
  • -- self-exams
  • -- getting in and getting it
  • treated

See Spot

See Spot Change

See Doctor…………….

Or, See Spot Kill!