Clinical Topics   /   Oncology

Melanoma Increasing; Detection, Prevention Needed

By US Medicine

HARTFORD, CT – Melanoma is on the increase, and more needs to be done to promote prevention and early-detection of the sometimes deadly disease, according to a new study.

The authors pointed out that melanoma is the most commonly fatal form of skin cancer, with nearly 50,000 annual deaths worldwide.

Research groups, including the VA Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research, sought to assess long-term trends in the incidence and mortality of melanoma in Connecticut, where complete and consistent registration records are available. Their results were published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Using data from the Connecticut Tumor Registry, researchers sought to determine trends in invasive melanoma (1950-2007), in situ melanoma (1973-2007), tumor thickness (1993-2007), mortality (1950-2007), and mortality to incidence (1950-2007) among the 19,973 Connecticut residents diagnosed with invasive melanoma from 1950 to 2007, as well as the 3,635 patients who died of the disease during that time period. Used as primary outcome measures were  trends in incidence and mortality by age, sex, and birth cohort.

The study found that, during the initial period (1950-1954), a diagnosis of invasive melanoma was rare, with 1.9 patient cases per 100,000 for men and 2.6 patient cases per 100,000 for women. Between 1950 and 2007, however, overall incidence rates rose more than 17-fold in men (1.9 to 33.5 per 100,000) and more than nine-fold in women (2.6 to 25.3 per 100,000).

During those six decades, mortality rates also more than tripled in men (1.6 to 4.9 per 100,000) and doubled in women (1.3 to 2.6 per 100,000). Mortality rates were generally stable or decreasing in men and women through age 54 years, however, the study reported.

“Unremitting increases in incidence and mortality of melanoma call for a nationally coordinated effort to encourage and promote innovative prevention and early-detection efforts,” the authors said.

1.    Geller AC, Clapp RW, Sober AJ, Gonsalves L, Mueller L, Christiansen CL, Shaikh W, Miller DR. Melanoma Epidemic: An Analysis of Six Decades of Data From the Connecticut Tumor Registry. J Clin Oncol. 2013 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]PubMed PMID: 24043747.


Related Articles

Shulkin Ousted, White House Physician Nominated for VA Secretary

WASHINGTON — After several weeks of speculation regarding his future in the Trump Administration, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD’s tenure came to an abrupt end on March 28.

Congress Seeks More Oversight of VA EHR Program

WASHINGTON — Legislation under consideration by Congress would increase oversight of VA’s adoption and implementation of its forthcoming electronic health record (EHR) system. The VA announced last year that it would adopt the same Cerner... View Article


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From department of veterans affairs

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Shulkin Ousted, White House Physician Nominated for VA Secretary

WASHINGTON — After several weeks of speculation regarding his future in the Trump Administration, VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD’s tenure came to an abrupt end on March 28.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Congress Seeks More Oversight of VA EHR Program

Vascular Events Lead to Stroke About a Fourth of the Time. INDIANAPOLIS — While many healthcare systems measure the quality of their stroke care, looking at performance early in the vascular disease process can help... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Congress, VSOs Have Wait-and- See Position on Jackson Nomination

Vascular Events Lead to Stroke About a Fourth of the Time. INDIANAPOLIS — While many healthcare systems measure the quality of their stroke care, looking at performance early in the vascular disease process can help... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Vows to Meet Deadline for Revamp of Veteran Claims Appeal Process

Vascular Events Lead to Stroke About a Fourth of the Time. INDIANAPOLIS — While many healthcare systems measure the quality of their stroke care, looking at performance early in the vascular disease process can help... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Vets With Respiratory Disease More Responsive to ‘Quit’ Programs

Vascular Events Lead to Stroke About a Fourth of the Time. INDIANAPOLIS — While many healthcare systems measure the quality of their stroke care, looking at performance early in the vascular disease process can help... View Article

Facebook Comment

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up