Minnesota's melanoma rates jump

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 30, 2013 - 6:58 PM

Health commissioner urges caution in sun and in tanning beds.

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overlandJan. 30, 13 2:10 PM

Does the Health Department track melanoma cases? Is there info on line regarding locations? Sun is not the only cause of melanoma. Are there cancer clusters in Minnesota that could be evidence of other causes/predictors for melanoma?

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dumbshopperJan. 30, 13 3:27 PM

Did the STRIB just invent another category? "non-Hispanic white women". Either you are hispanic or you are caucasian. Unless the media is now starting to divide causaian into german, british, norwegian....

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keaton12Jan. 30, 13 5:24 PM

I have been wearing sunscreen forever even under makeup in the dead of winter. I am trying to prevent cancer and wrinkles. However, I know people who tan and you know it is a matter of time. Oh well, we have a health care system that pays for everything!

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j58501Jan. 30, 13 5:50 PM

This doesn't surprise me! The number of Minnesotans who tan in tanning beds is unbelieveable. In 20 years, there will be another surge in melanoma cancer individuals.

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shelly75ngmlJan. 30, 13 7:04 PM

To advise the public to completely avoid the sun and UV exposure is totally irresponsible and flat out stupid. Humans NEED the sun to live. Moderation should be the message. Why don't people understand that? This report completely contradicts itself- when they say that a base tan is a myth, then the next sentence states that SUNBURN increases your risk for skin cancer. A base tan is nature's way of protecting the skin from sunburn. To suggest otherwise is completely absurd. For those of you slathering on that chemical sunscreen on your skin every day even in winter, get your Vitamin D levels checked. You are risking much worse health risks by being Vitamin D deficient (over 100 diseases and health issues including several forms of cancer are linked to low Vitamin D). Use common sense when out in the sun, moderation is the key. Tell me, constant sunscreen users, would you take antibiotics every day just in case you are around someone that might be sick some day? No? Then why would you use sunscreen when there is no risk of sunburn? Use it when you will be exposed to UV for an extended amount of time. Everyday use is unnecessary and it blocks your body from producing Vitamin D. Not to mention who knows what those chemicals are doing to you as your skin absorbs them over time. Vitamin D deficiency is a real problem and the most effective and efficient way to make sure you have a healthy level is through MODERATE UV exposure. Look it up if you wont take my word for it, I was able to bring my level up from a dangerously low 11ng/ml to an above average 75ng/ml in just a few months through MODERATE UV exposure. Also, as an FYI, we are in Vitamin D winter in North America so UV exposure during these months is not enough to trigger vitamin D production in the body, it CERTAINLY isn't enough to warrant sunscreen every day.

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paige7Jan. 30, 13 8:02 PM

@shelly75ngml, I didn't read anything that said to completely avoid the sun and slather on sunscreen in January in Minnesota. And unless you're a biological scientist, I don't think we can trust your claim that a base tan is nature's protection.

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keaton12Jan. 30, 13 8:35 PM

You can't get Vitamin D from the sun in Minnesota due to the angle of the sun. You CAN get sun damage.

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keaton12Jan. 30, 13 8:37 PM

Shelly75mgnl--my skin is pasty white. I absolutely need to cover up even in winter.

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pjhawk95Jan. 31, 1310:01 AM

I just had a one inch piece of my ear removed and reconstructed due to basal cell skin cancer - not fun at all. But my kid filmed the plastic surgery with his Iphone so I could later view the procedure.

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toddb987Jan. 31, 1310:39 AM

The explanation for this "increase" is so obvious that it's laughable. Note where it says "Olmsted County in southeastern Minnesota, home to the Mayo Clinic, has the highest melanoma rate..." I wonder why that is? Perhaps because there is the highest concentration of dermatologists in the country in that county? It doesn't take a MD to tell you that. The fact is that the AAD itself acknowledges that 90% of melanoma surgeries are performed on benign lesions -- meaning it wasn't melanoma in the first place. This also explains why this incredible "increase" has occurred without the death rate rising at all.

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