Melanoma Incidence and Mortality Continue to Increase

December 28, 2016
Lisa Schulmeister, RN, MN, APRN-BC, FAAN

Incidence and mortality of melanoma in the US has risen steadily.

Despite increased education on the prevention of skin cancer, as well as regulations on tanning bed use, the incidence of and mortality from invasive melanoma in the U.S. has risen steadily.

Researchers in New York and Ohio used population data to analyze melanoma trends and predict the risk of developing melanoma in the U.S. Calculations were made to determine the lifetime risk of developing a melanoma based on estimated annual incidence, average life expectancy, and the base years’ US population after correcting for persons with multiple primary melanomas.

The researchers estimated that 76,380 Americans were diagnosed with invasive melanoma in 2016. Melanoma raw incidence rates per 100,000 population climbed from 22.2 in 2009 to 23.6 in 2016. The current lifetime risk of an American developing invasive melanoma is now 1 in 54 compared with 1 in 58 in 2009. In situ melanoma incidence has risen more rapidly from 2009 to 2016 with the lifetime risk of developing in situ melanoma rising from 1 in 78 to 1 in 58. The lifetime risk for being diagnosed with invasive or in situ melanoma is now 1 in 28. The annual number of population-adjusted melanoma deaths has also risen 1.5%.

Invasive melanoma incidence rates are rising more rapidly than mortality, which suggests that earlier detection is having an impact. However, the effect of earlier detection has not yet been reflected in melanoma mortality. The study findings are available at here.