Deadly skin cancer on the rise in Sweden: study

The number of Swedes diagnosed with one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer has increased by 50 percent over the last decade, a new study shows.

The jump in melanoma cases comes despite warnings to take precautions when spending time in the sun and to seek treatment at the first sign of abnormal skin changes, according to study carried out by health officials in the Uppsala-Örebro region in central Sweden.

The results of the study are to be represented a national medical conference, the Upsala Nya Tidning newspaper reports.

Gunnar Wagenius, a head doctor at Uppsala University Hospital’s cancer clinic, is both disappointed and surprised that the number of advanced stage and hard to treat melanoma cases hasn’t decreased.

“We had expected that it would only be cases of light, easily-treated melanoma that increased,” he told the newspaper.

Between 1995 and 2007, there were 4,121 cases of melanoma reported in the seven county councils which make up the Uppsala-Örebro healthcare region.

From the start of the study period to the end, the number of cases reported annually increased from 284 to 430 per year, an increase of 51 percent.

“It’s clear that advice to be careful in the sun to decrease the risk for skin cancer hasn’t yet had an effect on the occurrence of melanoma,” said Wagenius.

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