Common Skin Cancers Decreasing in Alberta

EDMONTON, Alberta, May 4 (UPI) — Strong skin cancer awareness campaigns begun more than 20 years ago are contributing to the stabilization of skin cancer rates in Canada, researchers said.

Drs. Andrei Metelitsa and Gordon Jung of the University of Alberta in Edmonton and colleagues found skin cancer rates in Alberta going down in men and leveling off for women. This comes at a time when American scientists say U.S. skin cancer rates are increasing, the researchers said.

Metelitsa, Jung and colleagues analyzed data collected over a 20-year period from nearly 100,000 patients diagnosed with the two most common cancers in the world — basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. The study found after a rapid spike in the late 1980s and early ’90s, the number of cases has remained stable since 2000.

The researchers say the Alberta trends are representative of the entire Canadian population because the age-standardized melanoma incidence rates are reflective of the national rate.

The study is scheduled for publication in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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