This week, the Los Angeles Times reported on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) find that the rate of melanoma has doubled since 30 years ago. Researchers marked 65,647 new cases of the cancer in 2011. After age was adjusted for, the statistics worked out to be 19.7 cases out of 100,000 Americans. These numbers are beyond hazardous.
Non-Latino whites had the highest incidence of melanoma by far, with 24.6 cases for every 100,000 people. At the other end of the spectrum were African Americans, with 1 case per 100,000 people, along with Asians and Pacific Islanders, who had 1.3 cases per 100,000 people. Latinos also had a low incidence, with 4.1 diagnoses for every 100,000 people. Through age 49, women were more likely than men to be diagnosed with melanoma, the report said. This is partially due to the popularity of indoor tanning among younger white women — nearly one-third of white women between 16 and 25 visit a tanning parlor at least once a year, according to a 2013 study in JAMA Internal Medicine. From age 50 on, however, the incidence was higher in men, who are less likely to use sunscreen or other forms of sun protection, the CDC study said.
As a result of melanoma, 9,128 Americans died in 2011. That means that the age-adjusted rate of mortality was 2.7 deaths per 100,000 American people. 95% of these deaths were non-Latino whites. Interestingly enough, the mortality rate between 1982 and 2011 stayed the same, despite the incidence increase. The CDC believes that if things to not change, by 2030 there will be 112,000 new cases that year. Treatment costs would rise up to $1.6 billion.
The researchers point out that this is preventable. By using sun smart programs such as the one developed in Victoria, Australia, the public can be educated on the true dangers of the cancer. The program in Victoria has prevented more than 9,000 incidences and 1,000 deaths over a period of 15 years. If this program or a similar one were to be adopted in the U.S., 230,000 cases of melanoma could be prevented between 2020 and 2030.
We at MoleSafe believe that a sun smart program is exactly what the United States need. MoleSafe would certainly be a major part of such a program.
What do YOU think? Let us know below!