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Sun Struck: Data suggest skin cancer epidemic looms

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9:50am, August 10, 2005

Young adults are experiencing a sharp increase in the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers, a new study finds. These readily treatable tumors had been considered mainly a problem for people over age 60.

The youthful trend "is more than surprising. It's alarming," says study leader Leslie J. Christenson, a dermatologic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Her study focused on basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, which are less dangerous than melanoma but, if untreated, can be disfiguring or even lethal.

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