A new way of searching for human viruses has helped scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in the US find a previously unknown one that is linked to a deadly form of skin cancer called Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). 

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Here are some ominous facts about the skin cancer epidemic (particularly the last one from Australia):

  • 1 in 2 Americans over 65 will develop a skin cancer.
  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.

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Many of my patients are unhappy with their moles - now there is a study that suggests that the more moles you have the slower you age.

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Most sunscreens expire in two years. Look closely at the bottle for an expiration date. If you can't find an expiration date and you think the sunscreen is more than two years old then throw it out. There is nothing worse than using a sunscreen and then getting burned...

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I saw two patients last week with amelanotic melanoma - a melanoma with very little melanin. Melanin is a pigment that gives skin its color - the darker the skin - the more melanin. Usually we think of melanoma as being black or brown. Amelanotic melanoma is red or pink and is often difficult to detect on skin exam. Here is an example of an amelanotic melanoma:

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