The Effects of Public Education on the Incidence and Presentation of Cutaneous Melanoma in Central Texas

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Abstract of Journal Article -- April 2005

 

By A.R. Brackeen, MD;  R.A. Weber, MD; and C.N. Verheyden, MD, PhD

Despite intensive public education, the incidence of melanoma in Central Texas has remained relatively constant (from 175 per 100,000 during 1981-1990 to 190 per 100,000 during 1991-2000). Although other investigators have hypothesized that the slight increase in incidence results from increased detection and reporting of early-stage (thinner) tumors, we found the average thickness was 0.99 mm from 1981 through 1990 and 1.11 mm from 1990 through 2000 ( P =.30). These data suggest that despite efforts at public education, the incidence of melanoma in Central Texas is not decreasing and people are not identifying their tumors at an earlier stage. 

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