Myth: Melanoma is epidemic among teenage girls

While the melanoma rate for teenage girls does seem to have increased somewhat over the past 35 years (see chart below),


it’s quite likely that this increase is due to the well-recognized phenomenon of increased detection of benign melanomas/misdiagnoses of malignant melanomas.

Supporting the misdiagnoses explanation is the fact that there no data suggesting that deaths from melanoma have increased among teenage girls. Consider the graph below from the National Cancer Institute.


So why are the data in the above graph “suppressed”?

They are not. The final note on the graph indicates that there are too few cases of melanoma in teenage girls to even keep records — i.e., fatal melanoma in teen girls is exceedingly rare.

There are many actual risky behaviors in which teenage girls often engage. Parents should focus their attention on those.