Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 24 May 2006
Vol. 2006, Issue 9, p. pe13
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2006.9.pe13]


The Age of Skin Cancers

Anu Desai, Richard Krathen, Ida Orengo, and Estela E. Medrano

The authors are in the Department of Dermatology (A.D., R.K., I.O., E.E.M), the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (E.E.M.), and the Huffington Center on Aging (E.E.M.) at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA. E-mail: medrano{at}

Key Words: skin cancers • melanoma • nevi • senescence

Abstract: Cancer affects two major cell types in the human skin: epithelial cells and melanocytes. Aging and a previous history of ultraviolet light exposure are major risk factors for skin cancers, including basal and squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas. However, melanomas, which are the most deadly of the skin tumors, display two intriguing characteristics: The incidence is increased and the prognosis is worse in males over 60 years as compared with females of the same age. This Perspective discusses possible reasons for age and gender as melanoma risk factors, as well as the need for studies aimed at unraveling the molecular mechanism of such puzzling events.

Citation: A. Desai, R. Krathen, I. Orengo, E. E. Medrano, The Age of Skin Cancers. Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ. 2006 (9), pe13 (2006).

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