Other highlights in the October 15 issue of JNCI

Study Confirms Risk Factors for Malignant Melanoma

A new study confirms previous findings that hair color, number of moles on the legs, and history of sunburn are risk factors for malignant melanoma. The study also found that the use of sunbeds and other tanning devices is associated with an increased risk of the disease. Marit Veierd, Ph.D., of the University of Oslo in Norway, and colleagues surveyed 106,379 Norwegian and Swedish women between the ages of 30 and 50 about their personal characteristics and exposures. During an average follow-up of 8.1 years, there were 187 cases of melanoma diagnosed among these women. Melanoma risk was associated with increasing body surface area; the number of large asymmetric moles on the legs; having naturally red hair; the number of sunburns per year during the second, third, and fourth decades of life; and use one or more times per month of artificial tanning lights. The authors also note that the strongest effects of UV exposure on melanoma risk appear to be during adolescence and early adulthood.

Low White Cell Counts May Affect Breast Cancer Outcomes Among African American Women

African American women with early-stage breast cancer have lower baseline white blood cell counts and therefore appear to have delays in doses of adjuvant chemotherapy compared with white women with early-stage breast cancer. The treatment delays may explain racial differences in breast cancer survival, authors of a new study suggest. Dawn Hershman, M.D., of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York, and her colleagues collected information on 73 African American and 126 matched white women, and of these women, 43 white and 93 African American women had undergone adjuvant chemotherapy. They found that African American women had lower white blood cell counts at baseline and after treatment and required a longer treatment duration (19 weeks versus 15 weeks). "This difference in dose intensity may contribute to t

Contact: Linda Wang
Journal of the National Cancer Institute

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