Archive for October, 2011

Cost of melanoma – lost earnings

The below article says that, in the USA, there are 45000 cases of  melanoma a year, about 4 times the amount in Australia. We could therefore assume that melanomas cost the Australian economy about a quarter of what they cost in the USA, almost 2 Billion Australian dollars (the article is a little unclear on the 8 billion versus the 3.5 billion):


Melanoma costs U.S. billions in lost productivity

Washington, DC, United States (AHN) – A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that melanoma skin cancer costs the U.S. economy about $8 billion a year.

The report said that more than 45,000 cases of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, occurred every year between 2004 and 2006.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and melanoma is the third most common skin cancer – and the most likely to cause death. About 8,000 people die every year from the disease in the U.S.

Deaths caused by melanoma accounted for $3.5 billion in lost productivity every year. Deaths among men accounted for $2.4 billion of lost productivity, and deaths among women accounted for $1.2 billion in lost productivity, according to the study.

Researchers also said that a person who died of melanoma between 2000 and 2006 died 20 years prematurely, compared to 17 years from other cancers.

The report, “Melanoma Surveillance in the United States can be found at


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Invasive melanoma may be more common in children

This is an interesting study. The important factor is that survival rates did not differ by age. There is probably a relationship to the fact that atypical Spitzoid lesions also have a higher rate of lymph node metastases but no increase in mortality rate.



 Baltimore, MD, United States (AHN) – Invasive melanoma, a particularly dangerous form of skin cancer, may be more likely in children than adults, according to a new study.

 Researchers with Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions analyzed five years of medical records tracking 717 children and 1,368 young adults between the ages of 20 and 24 who were diagnosed with melanoma. The children with melanoma were more likely than the adults with the disease to have metastases in the lymph nodes surrounding the tumor, which are known as sentinel lymph nodes.

 Cancer cells were found in the sentinel lymph nodes of 25 percent of the children and 14 percent of adults who had biopsies, the researchers found. Children under 10 were more likely to have metastases beyond the original tumor site, and to have tumors with greater thickness compared with older children and young adults.

 Survival rates did not differ significantly by age among the patients.

 According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be more than 70,000 new diagnoses of melanoma and almost 8,800 deaths in the United States from the disease in 2011 alone. Both diagnoses and treatment “can be seriously delayed” among pediatric patients.

 Doctors believe incidence of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in children and young adults has increased because of unprotected sun exposure, indoor tanning and repeated sun burns, especially during childhood.