Background: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Melanoma skin cancer is particularly deadly; more than 8000 US residents die from it each year. Although recent reports suggest that melanoma incidence rates have been increasing, these apparent increases could be caused by an increase in reporting and/or screening, and by an actual increase in the occurrence of melanoma.
Objective: In this report, we describe methods used in this supplement to assess the current burden of melanoma in the United States using data from two federal cancer surveillance programs: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Program of Cancer Registries and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. We also provide basic descriptive epidemiologic data about melanoma in the United States.
Methods: Cancer incidence data from population-based cancer registries that participate in the CDC National Program of Cancer Registries and/or the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program covering 78% of the US population for 2004 to 2006 were used.
Results: Over 45 thousand melanomas were diagnosed annually, with a rate of 19 cases per 100,000 persons.
Limitations: Melanoma rates may vary because of differences in reporting, diagnosis, and screening.
Conclusion: To our knowledge, the articles in this supplement constitute the first comprehensive examination of the overall burden of melanoma in the United States based on data from a majority of the US population.
Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.