What CDC Is Doing About Skin Cancer

CDC provides leadership for nationwide efforts to reduce illness and death caused by skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States. Some activities are listed below.

Melanoma Dashboard

The Melanoma Dashboard was created in partnership with CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Program to help communities address their unique melanoma prevention needs. It provides state- and county-level data on melanoma incidence, melanoma mortality, and UV irradiance. It also provides information about state policies regarding minors’ access to indoor tanning devices and sunscreen use at schools.

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer

Despite efforts to address skin cancer risk factors such as inadequate sun protection and intentional tanning behaviors, skin cancer rates, including rates of melanoma, have continued to increase in the United States and worldwide. CDC supported The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, which aimed to increase skin cancer awareness and called for actions to reduce its risk.

Research and Surveillance

  • Two studies used national data to examine indoor tanning and found that indoor tanning is declining in the United States among both high school students and adults. However, nearly 900,000 high school students and 8 million adults still tan each year.
  • A study examining sunburn among U.S. adults found that sunburn increased from 2005 to 2015 among certain demographic groups, including among women, adults aged 50 to 69 years, non-Hispanic whites, and those living in the South.
  • A study looking at sunscreen use among adults in the United States found that sunscreen use is particularly low among men, non-Hispanic blacks, people with less sun-sensitive skin, and people with lower incomes.
  • CDC published a journal supplement about melanoma in the United States.

See all of CDC’s skin cancer research.

Shade Planning Manual

The Shade Planning for America’s Schools [PDF-1.2MB] manual helps schools ensure school grounds have adequate shade.

Photo of an African-American man wearing a hat and sunglasses

The report, issued annually for five years, summarized recent prevention efforts and highlighted new data, developments, and success stories.

Photo of five children.

These guidelines were designed to provide schools with a comprehensive approach to preventing skin cancer among adolescents and young people.