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Melanoma and Pregnancy: What Every Woman Needs to Know About the Risks, Prognosis
Date:5/4/2009

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers estimate that nearly one-third of cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, are diagnosed in women during their childbearing years. Since many women now are delaying pregnancy until their 30s or 40s, coupled with the fact that melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old, more women could be faced with developing melanoma before or during pregnancy.

At the recent 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologist Marcia S. Driscoll, MD, FAAD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, presented evidence concerning the prognosis for women who become pregnant after surviving melanoma and for those who develop melanoma during pregnancy.

"Over the years, there has been ongoing controversy concerning the effect of hormones on melanoma," said Dr. Driscoll. "Some researchers speculated that melanomas may grow rapidly and spread due to the hormones associated with pregnancy. While we know that hormones may impact other types of cancer, such as breast and ovarian cancer, a review of the research on pregnancy and melanoma shows there is no evidence that pregnancy has an adverse influence either on the prognosis of melanoma or the risk of developing melanoma."

Prognosis Important when Considering Pregnancy after Melanoma

Dr. Driscoll explained that the best direct evidence of the prognosis for the woman who becomes pregnant after being diagnosed with melanoma is based on three small case-controlled studies. Reviewed collectively, these
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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