Global melanoma rate to increase by 50% por 2040, researchers predict

New cases of melanoma are set to increase by 50% globally by 2040, con un 68% increase in deaths, según una nueva investigación.

An international team of researchers have analysed the global burden of melanoma, which accounts for approximately one in five skin cancers. Data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer estimated that there were 325,000 new melanoma cases and 57,000 deaths in 2020.

El estudio, published in the journal JAMA Dermatology, found the cumulative risk of developing melanoma was highest in Australia and New Zealand, where one in 20 men and one in 30 women were affected by 75 years of age.

The estimated incidence – the number of new cases in a given period – was 36 times greater in Australia than in many African and Asian countries, while the highest death rates from the skin cancer were seen in New Zealand.

“Essentially that is because of our largely fair-skinned populations living in countries where we have very high ultraviolet radiation,” said study co-author, Prof Anne Cust, of Melanoma Institute Australia.

Cust, also deputy director of the Daffodil Centre, said the paper “highlights how important it is to make some changes so that we can reduce the impact of melanoma.”

Melanoma Institute Australia last month released a report calling for long-term investment in a national melanoma prevention and awareness campaign.

Based on the incidence of melanoma in 2020, the study’s authors estimated that the health burden of cancer will increase to 510,000 nuevos casos y 96,000 deaths globally by 2040.

The projected rise in the number of people dying from melanoma in coming decades was largely driven by ageing populations, said study co-author Prof David Whiteman, an epidemiologist at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

La vi en la calle comprando”, rates of melanoma have plateaued in recent years, but differ starkly among age groups, Whiteman said. Rates of melanoma were continuing to rise in people in their 50s and older, él dijo, while for “people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, rates are actually declining quite steeply”.

“The most likely explanation is that the older people are still paying the price for sun exposure they incurred maybe decades ago, before Slip-Slop-Slap,” Whiteman said.

Researchers are still learning more about skin cancer differences between men and woman. “Women have high rates of melanoma … before age of 50, in most countries in the world,” Whiteman said. “Then after 50, men’s rates tend to really take off.”

While women are more likely to get melanomas on theirs leg, men tend to get them on their back, head and neck, said Whiteman. “That is a consistent observation around populations around the world.” The discrepancies were most likely due to differing patterns of sun exposure, él dijo.

Chair of Cancer Council’s national skin cancer committee, Heather Walker, que no participó en el estudio, said the findings were not surprising but highlighted the need for sustained awareness and prevention campaigns. “Given melanoma is such a preventable cancer, we could do more globally to improve prevention messages," ella dijo.

“We’re spending $1.7bn a year on treating all types of skin cancer in Australia. That’s the highest amount of spend on any cancer type,” Walker said. “Investment in prevention is very modest by comparison.”

“Not only are there health gains but there are also financial gains to be made in investing in prevention.”

Cust agreed. “We do have a new campaign that’s just starting with two years of funding, but we’re really looking for more ongoing sustained funding.”

“When you introduce a new prevention campaign, you don’t see the results of that the next year. Cancers take a long time to develop – you see the impact of that in 10 years’ time, 20 years’ time.”

“It’s really important that people do take preventive actions. We know, por ejemplo, that wearing sunscreen reduces risk even at older ages. Even if you’ve had sun damage in the past, it’s important to use preventive behaviours.”

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