Monday, May 11, 2009

Middle-Aged and Older Men Should Check for Melanomas

According to the Mayo Clinic, melanomas can develop anywhere on your body, but most often develop in areas that have had exposure to the sun, such as your back, legs, arms and face. This year in the United States there will be more than 62,000 newly diagnosed cases of melanoma and about 8,420 people will die from this type of skin cancer, as estimated by the National Cancer Institute. Of those melanoma-caused deaths, 50 percent will be of white men over age 50. These statistics prompted Dr. Susan M. Swetter of Stanford University and her team to conduct research using data from 227 men age 40 and older who had been diagnosed with melanoma within three months of the study. About one fourth of the study participants had tumors that were greater than two millimeters thick, which is almost too large to be treated effectively. From the data, senior research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health Alan C. Geller and his group found that 46 percent of melanomas detected by a physician were on the back and tended to be in older men.

Melanoma, which is the only cancer in the U.S. that does not have a falling mortality rate, can be removed completely if found at an early stage. However, doctors currently have no effective treatment for late-stage melanomas, so it is extremely important for middle-aged and older men to inspect their own backs or ask for assistance from a loved one. Moles with color variation, border irregularity or ones larger than six millimeters in diameter should be watched carefully and reported to a doctor if any changes occur. Middle-aged and older men should also have areas prone to melanomas checked by their physician or a dermatologist to allow for early diagnosis if skin cancer is found. People with early-stage melanomas have a 90 percent survival rate, while those with melanomas found at a later stage experience only a 20 percent survival rate. So, finding melanomas when they are still thin can mean the difference between life and death for these men. If you or someone you love has been harmed by a delay in diagnosis or treatment of cancer, our cancer malpractice attorneys can help. Your initial consultation is FREE and there is NO FEE to you unless we recover money. Call Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. today, or submit an instant inquiry now and we will respond within 24 hours. Our experienced attorneys serve clients with Bronx cancer malpractice, Brooklyn cancer malpractice, Queens cancer malpractice, Nassau cancer malpractice and Suffolk cancer malpractice cases.

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