In many countries throughout the world, the incidence of malignant melanoma
is rising rapidly. In the United States in the last 20 years, there has been
an estimated 4% increase per year in incidence and nearly a 2% increase per
year in mortality.1 Another alarming aspect
of melanoma is its frequency in the younger population. In the United States,
about 1 in 4 new cases of melanoma occur in people younger than 40 years,2 and the median age at diagnosis of melanoma is 53
years. This malignancy ranks second among adult cancers (behind adult leukemia)
in potential years of life lost.3
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