Skin Cancer: Module
Figure II Questions
to Module 14
Question 1: Think
about what you have learned about how melanoma develops. Remember that
too much sun in childhood and young adulthood can cause skin cancer later
in life. Explain the differences in melanoma incidence in different age
Melanoma is more
common in older adults. Incidence rates went up more from 19731994
in older age groups. This fits with what we know about the "lag time"
for melanoma: UV skin damage early in life can cause cancer much later
Question 2: How
would primary prevention activities targeted at parents, young children,
and teenagers now affect age-specific melanoma rates in the future?
children and teenagers now should help lower age-specific melanoma rates
in older adults in the future. As this age "group" adopts sun-safe
habits, they will reduce their risk for melanoma later in life.
Question 3: Would
skin cancer screening programs affect this graph? If so, how?
cancer screening programs are a secondary prevention measure. But there
are several ways that skin cancer screening programs might affect incidence
rates. Screening programs may have an indirect effect on people's habits.
Such programs may raise awareness, change attitudes, or otherwise move
people to change their sun habits. Screenings may also prompt people to
encourage healthy change in their friends, families, and communities.
Thus screening programs could indirectly lead to lower melanoma incidence
over time. Screening programs may also cause a temporary rise in melanoma
incidence. This is because more early tumors would be found. And more
people would seek medical care for melanoma. There would appear
to be more cases of melanoma. But the mortality rate per case would
drop, because early tumors are easier to cure.
to Module 14