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Genital Skin Cancer More Deadly for Females

Posted: February 5, 2007

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"But some of the most dangerous types of skin cancers are those that are not sun-induced, such as skin cancers that occur on genital skin -- a place that is not exposed to intense sun and is not routinely examined by dermatologists. That's why there needs to be an increased awareness of this issue, so patients and physicians can be better prepared to detect these cancers early before they become fatal," said Weinstock, who is also chief dermatologist at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Providence.

Because they're not always readily visible and may not cause any noticeable symptoms, genital skin cancers can be difficult to diagnose.

"The number of deaths attributed to genital NMSCs was higher than expected, and we believe HPV was a major cause of these cancers," Weinstock said.

"The availability of the new HPV vaccine offers the potential for a substantial reduction in the development of these skin cancers for future generations," he noted.

In addition, since "HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, both men and women can practice preventive measures that could lead to a decline in mortality rates from genital NMSCs and heed the warning signs of the disease, including new growths or sores that don't heal, to detect it early."

HealthDay News, Monday, February 5, 2007