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Annual Incidence of Melanoma Projected to Increase Markedly by 2030

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Key Points

  • The incidence of invasive melanoma is projected to increase to approximately 112,000 by 2030, with a 250% increase in the cost of treating new cases.
  • A comprehensive prevention program could reduce the incidence by an average of 21,000 cases per year.

As reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by Guy et al, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that there were an estimated 65,647 new cases of invasive melanoma in the United States in 2011. In the absence of intervention, the annual incidence is expected to increase to approximately 112,000 by 2030.

2011 Data

For 2011, the age-adjusted incidence rate per 100,000 population was 19.7; incidence rates increased with age and were highest (24.6) in non-Hispanic whites. Overall, the incidence rates were higher in men (25.3) than in women (15.6) but were higher in women vs men aged 15 to 49 years and higher in men vs women aged ≥ 50 years.

An estimated 9,128 melanoma deaths occurred in 2011. The overall age-adjusted melanoma death rate was 2.7 per 100,000 population; death rates increased with age and were highest in non-Hispanic whites (3.4) and higher in men (4.0) vs women (1.7).

Incidence Projections

Melanoma incidence rates doubled between 1982 and 2011. The projected incidence for 2030 is 112,000 in the absence of intervention, and the estimated annual cost of treating new cases of melanoma is projected to increase by 250%.

On the basis of the reduction in melanoma incidence observed with SunSmart, a multicomponent community-wide sun protection program in Australia, it is estimated that a comprehensive skin cancer prevention program could prevent 20% of melanoma cases from 2020 to 2030, representing an average of 21,000 cases per year and a total of 230,000 cases. It is estimated that the reduction in incidence would reduce average annual spending on newly diagnosed cases by $250 million.

The investigators concluded: “If additional prevention efforts are not undertaken, the number of melanoma cases is projected to increase over the next 15 years, with accompanying increases in health care costs. Much of this morbidity, mortality, and health care cost can be prevented.”

Gery P. Guy Jr, PhD, of CDC, is the corresponding author of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report article.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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