The incidence of malignant melanoma in the United States: issues as we approach the 21st century

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1996 May;34(5 Pt 1):839-47. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(96)90041-9.


The risk of malignant melanoma developing in an American in the United States has now reached 1 in 87 (up more than 1800% since the 1930s). This rising incidence of malignant melanoma is, in fact, real because (1) it is not due to increased surveillance; (2) it is not due to better cancer-counting methods in general; (3) it is not due to changes in histologic diagnostic criteria; (4) it is being noted worldwide; and (5) most importantly, despite rising survival percentages, the mortality rate from malignant melanoma also continues to rise. On the basis of these trends, incidence rates for malignant melanoma will continue to rise for at least the next 10 to 20 years, although the demographics of those affected may change. Effective programs to improve public and professional education must be developed to enhance early clinical detection and behavioral changes. An establishment of a National Melanoma Registry is needed to more effectively assess the magnitude and impact of future incidence and the success of prevention program efforts into the next century.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Education, Medical
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Melanoma / epidemiology*
  • Melanoma / mortality
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / prevention & control
  • Population Surveillance
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology