In Virginia Beach and across Hampton Roads, summer is synonymous with going to the beach or pool and catching rays. However, the dangers associated with unprotected sun exposure have been once again highlighted by a government cancer study released yesterday. The study from the National Cancer Institute found that the rate of new melanoma cases in younger women (15 to 39 years of age) has jumped 50% since 1980, while the incidence among males has stayed relatively stable. Sunbed tanning and more exposure to natural sunlight are cited as possible reasons for the dramatic increase in melanoma among younger women. Each year, approximately 62,000 melanomas are diagnosed in the U.S., and approximately 8,300 people die from the disease annually.
Melanoma is a highly aggressive and the most fatal form of skin cancer if not diagnosed and treated before it spreads beyond its primary location in the skin. If diagnosed while it is still a “thin” (less than 1mm thick lesion), the outcome is favorable, as approximately 90% of melanoma patients are cured. The government’s new numbers about the surge in melanoma cases should make everyone think twice about sunbathing or using a tanning bed without adequate sunscreen or other skin protection.
Pierce & Thornton has extensive experience in representing patients and their families in cases where they have suffered the consequences of melanoma or other cancer not being timely diagnosed by their physician. We have worked with top melanoma experts from across the United States who diagnose and treat melanoma and have gone to trial to seek compensation for those who have lost a loved one due to negligent medical treatment. If you, any family member or friend have any questions about melanoma or other types of cancer that may not have been diagnosed when it should have been, call us for a free consultation.