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.

Annual Skin Cancer Prevention Progress Report

CDC’s Skin Cancer Prevention Progress Report provides a comprehensive summary of the most recent data and highlight developments and success stories in skin cancer prevention. By updating the report annually, we can monitor progress, learn from successes, recognize areas that need improvement, and identify opportunities to work with partners to protect the public against skin cancer.

CDC Vital Signs: Preventing Melanoma

The rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, are going up. Without more prevention efforts, melanoma will continue to increase in the next 15 years. This issue of Vital Signs explains how community skin cancer prevention programs can prevent future melanoma cases and decrease treatment costs.

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 studentsexternal icon and adults. However, nearly 900,000 high school students and 8 million adults still tan each year.
  • A studyexternal icon 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 scientists published two papers in a special issueexternal icon of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that discuss ways to reduce indoor tanning and prevent future cases of skin cancer.
  • CDC published a journal supplementexternal icon about melanoma in the United States.

See all of CDC’s skin cancer research.

Shade Planning Manual pdf icon[PDF-1.2MB]

The Shade Planning for America’s Schools manual helps schools ensure school grounds have adequate shade.

Photo of an African-American man wearing a hat and sunglasses
The report summarizes recent prevention efforts and highlights new data, developments, and success stories. By updating this report annually, we will monitor progress, celebrate and learn from successes, recognize areas that need improvement, and identify opportunities to work with partners in government, health care, education, business, and the community.
Photo of five children.
These guidelines were designed to provide schools with a comprehensive approach to preventing skin cancer among adolescents and young people.