Thoughts of a Dermatologist

By now you’ve gotten the message: Melanoma is deadly. You will do recognize that this is the fastest-growing cancer in the United States and that one Person dies from melanoma every hour. Millimeter by millimeter, it is the disease that is most lethal. Enable me to share with you some interesting history you might not have learned before, rather than flooding you with numbers about this horrid disease.Checkout Dermatologist for more info.

There are only a few known melanoma records. Throughout France it was not formally recognised as an disease until 1806. A perplexed Scottish physician called John Hunter was presented with a large black development on a thirty-five-year-old man’s jaw many years earlier in 1787. He described it as “cancerous champignon” Without realizing what it was, he was doing what doctors are doing: hacking it off. Sadly, it wasn’t until 1968, that anyone first stared at it through a microscope and confirmed it was a melanoma. This has been stored at the Royal College of Surgeons of England Hunterian Museum in London all this period and I am assured that it can still be seen today. A couple years later the patient naturally searched out Dr. Hunter for a recurrence of development at the same place. He had been battered with a cane in a drunken fight and the “warm black layer” returned. The patient’s destiny is lost to memory. Yet we do realize his melanoma was extremely unlikely to recover because of the pounding he received.

Because then melanoma has not been lost. You may be shocked to hear that many of the top melanoma experts are located in Australia, not the US. The British government created an Australian penal colony in the 1870s, and forced prisoners to stay with kangaroos out there days. Several years later, the mass emigration of pasty white English convicts to the sunshine continent led to a melanoma outbreak. Australia has the reputation of becoming the world’s center with melanoma. And we’re not far away. It was predicted in 1935 that only one American of every 1500-2000 will get melanoma. Several decades on, the prevalence of bikinis and tanning salons is now 1 in 65 and worsens every year. Predictions are already being produced in the immediate future for 1 of every 33 of us; a stunning increase.

Ironically, melanoma is one of the few illnesses I can mention which appears to overwhelmingly impact people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. This is supposed to be attributed to the discretionary money that brings families to equatorial holiday destinations. Holidays in Cancun and Florida are equivalent to brief yet prolonged sun exposure periods-the very same light one gets from a tanning bed. All those high school girls who tanned for prom back in the 80’s and 90’s are thought to blame for the skyrocketing levels of melanoma we see in women under 40 at the moment. Melanoma is one of the most prevalent cancers of young people, of addition to breast and thyroid cancer. If you are following Grey’s Anatomy you realize that a few seasons earlier one of the main lead characters (a thirty-something blond) died of melanoma. Although I don’t usually pay much attention to such series, I admire the writers ‘attempt to raise consciousness of this problem. Recognizing the connection between ultraviolet light and melanoma, Governor Brown recently banned the use of tanning beds for those under 18.