State, regional differences in melanoma rates 2003 vs 2013
A new research letter published online by JAMA Dermatology compares melanoma death and incidence by states and in four geographic regions.
Melanoma death and incidence rates vary among states, partly because of demographic differences.
Robert P. Dellavalle, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., of the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, and coauthors used a publicly available database to analyze melanoma death and incidence rates by state and geographic region. Researchers report:
- 23 of 48 states (with data for 2003 and 2013) had a decrease in melanoma death rates; four states had no change and 21 states saw an increase.
- 11 of the 49 states with reported melanoma incidence rates saw a decrease and 38 states had an increase.
"Promoting greater awareness of skin cancer through public health programs has been associated with increased documentation and incidence rates. Lower death rates may further indicate that better treatment may be prolonging the life of patients with melanoma. Further research into the prevalence of melanoma in these four geographic regions is needed," the article concludes.