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Previous Cancer May Up Melanoma Risk
Date:12/19/2011

decreasing Breslow depth [how deeply tumor cells have invaded], lack of tumor ulceration, no nodal involvement, and absence of metastases [the spread of cancer from the primary tumor to other locations in the body]," the researchers wrote in a journal news release.

The results suggest the need for continued skin surveillance in melanoma survivors, they concluded.

The study appears in the December issue of the journal Archives of Dermatology.

Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that people tend to think of melanoma "as 'lightening doesn't strike twice,' but unfortunately, there are both genetic and environmental reasons which make this a faulty comparison. A history of malignant melanoma makes you at an increased risk for a second primary melanoma and [you] definitely need constant monitoring.

"This risk remains elevated for over 15 years. This was a very important study which illustrated what I have seen in private practice over the past 20 years," she added.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about melanoma and other skin cancers.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Michele Green, M.D., dermatologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Dec. 19, 2011


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