Melanoma can occur on skin that does not sunbathe



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Melanoma is an often deadly skin cancer that can develop when a person spends too much time in the sun without protection. But doctors now say that the disease can form even with little time in the sun.

"Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, not just in very sunny areas," Dr. Kucy Pon told Reuters by e-mail. She said that the most common place of melanoma in men is the back, while in women, it is their legs.

In a new study, Pon and his co-author Robert Micieli warn about the danger of melanoma. They say that this accounts for only about 1% of skin cancers but is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths. Their research has recently appeared in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

More than 90% of melanomas are caused by too much ultraviolet light. They said that the radiation could come from the sun or from special lamps used to Sun tanning salons – places where people will darken their skin.

Both researchers noted that the sun's rays were not the main cause of certain melanomas on parts of the body such as hands, lower feet, and the inside of the nose. Instead, they say, cancer development may be more similar to the development of non-cutaneous cancers.

DOSSIER - Yuan Yunping, suffering from foot melanoma, is seeking medical treatment in Beijing, China, on January 13, 2016. (REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon)

DOSSIER – Yuan Yunping, suffering from foot melanoma, is seeking medical treatment in Beijing, China, on January 13, 2016. (REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon)

Pon stated that melanoma cases had increased over the past 30 years. It is estimated that 192,300 new cases are expected in the United States in 2019.

Pon added that the disease could affect anyone, no matter the color of his skin. Seniors, people with skin marks, called moles, and people with a family history of melanoma are, however, particularly at risk.

"The first sign of a melanoma is an unusual mole or freckle"But she warned that in one in 10 patients with melanoma, melanoma may not have color and that it is difficult to notice.

"These unpigmented melanomas can be pinkish, reddish, purple, of normal skin color or … clear and colorless," said Dr. Ronald Moy. He is a skin specialist in Beverly Hills, California and a spokesperson for the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Moy said in an email that these unpigmented melanomas may look like other forms of skin cancer. Even worse, they can be mistaken for moles or harmless scars. This is particularly dangerous because early detection is critical to successfully treat melanoma.

"Prevention and early detection are essential," said Dr. Emily Newsom, who works for UCLA Health in Los Angeles, California.

Skin specialists advise people to use sunscreen repeatedly and wear sun protection clothing and a wide hat to cover their face.

Dr. Jeffrey Farma leads the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Treatment Program at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He said the researchers did "huge breakthroughs "in learning the genes involved in melanoma. The researchers were able to treat advanced melanoma and improve the survival rate.

I am Jonathan Evans.

Hai Do adapted this story to Learning English based on Reuters news. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in this story

Sun tanning – not. the act or process of darkening your skin by exposing it to sunlight or a special lamp

freckle – not. little brownish stain on someone's skin

detection – not. the act or process of discovering, finding or noticing something

huge – adj. very big or big

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