Study: Increasing Rates of Melanoma Throughout the Country

A recent article published in JAMA Dermatology highlights some startling facts about the rise of melanoma cases throughout the United States. According to the study, fatalities from invasive melanoma has risen steadily over the past two decades. Currently, the risk of an American developing invasive melanoma is 1 in 54. This is in comparison to figures reported in 2009 that indicated a rate of 1 in 58. Additionally, in situ melanoma (stage 0) cases rose more rapidly during study period. The lifetime risk of developing in situ melanoma rose from 1 in 78 to 1 in 58.

melanoma risk over the last 100 years (002)

Other Findings

Various geographic regions of the country were studied and were found to vary in incidence and death rates. The highest percentages were found in the Midwest, which experienced an increase during 10 years. A majority of Northeastern states were found to experience a decrease.

Study researchers used CDC data to compare trends over a 10-year period from 2003 to 2013. The trends studied included death and incident rates by state and geographic region. A total of 48 states reported melanoma deaths between 2003 and 2013. Of these states, 23 states experienced a decrease, 21 states an increase and four states reported no change.

Regional Findings

Decreases in cases:

• Six Northeastern states
• One Midwestern state
• Seven Southern states
• Nine Western states

Increase in cases:

• Two Northeastern states
• 10 Midwestern states
• Seven Southern states
• Three Western states

The study states, “Several U.S. geographic regions may require special focus. Eight of 11 Midwestern states (for which we had information) experienced a rise in both death and incidence rates between 2003 and 2013, perhaps indicating a greater number of melanoma cases resulting in a greater number of deaths.”

According to the researchers, the Northeast, specifically the New England area, was the only geographic region that saw a reduction in both incident and death rates. Researchers attribute this to strong skin cancer prevention programs within this region.

Says Dr. Wright of the St. Louis Liposuction Center, “It is so important to understand how important skin cancer prevention programs are. At my clinic, we emphasize skin care, including sun safety tips to prevent any occurrence of skin cancer.”

If you would like to know more about this study, or would like to know more about skin cancer prevent, please contact us today!

SOURCE: Mounessa JS, et al. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.4625.