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Melanoma Surveillance in the United States

CDC produced a supplement, published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, focusing on melanoma surveillance, trends, and survival rates. Many of the studies used data from CDC's National Program of Cancer Registries and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program, covering the largest percentage of the U.S. population ever studied.

More than 45,000 cases of melanoma occurred in 45 states and the District of Columbia each year between 2004 and 2006, according to the report. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer, causing about 8,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

Significant Findings

  • Deaths caused by melanoma accounted for $3.5 billion in lost productivity each year.
  • A person who died of melanoma between 2000 and 2006 died 20 years prematurely, compared to 17 years from other cancers.
  • Melanoma rates were higher among white, Hispanic females aged 50 and younger, and Asian/Pacific Islander females aged 40 and younger, compared to their male counterparts. This study also found that Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Asians were diagnosed with melanoma at younger ages than whites and blacks.
  • Melanoma incidence was higher among females than males, increased with age, and was higher in non-Hispanic whites than Hispanic whites, blacks, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Asians/Pacific Islanders.
  • In 2005, 34% of adults had been sunburned in the past year, and in 2004, 69% of adolescents were sunburned during the previous summer.
  • Doctors are required by law to report melanomas to central cancer registries, but many dermatologists reported being unaware of reporting requirements.

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