My Malignant Melanoma

Seanty's experiences with Metastatic Malignant Melanoma. Part of Email us direct at

Thursday, 17 September 2009


No Melanoma Epidemic

The latest British Journal of Dermatology has a study which says that the rise in the number of MM cases is as a result of doctors looking too hard, rather than a genuine rise in cases.

It claims that pretty much all of the rise is accounted for by misdiagnosis of benign marks on the skin as stage 1 MM, and notes that death rates have not risen during the period, as one would expect if MM rates were genuinely higher. Abstract.

The idea that melanoma diagnosis is something of a lottery is not a new one, as an article called Pathology as Art Appreciation discussed back in 1997.

This new study obviously means that the attempts to explain away the supposed rise by reference to the increase in high intensity UV exposure during the period are unnecessary, an explanation in search of something to explain.

Of course, we cannot endorse the attempts by the Indoor Tanning Association to claim that this proves UV is not related to MM. No such conclusion is drawn by the study, though as was discussed in the BMJ a short while ago, the idea that MM is mostly caused by sun exposure is nowhere near as conclusive as it is for other skin cancers.

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