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CA Cancer J Clin. 2016 May 27. doi: 10.3322/caac.21352. [Epub ahead of print]

State of the science on prevention and screening to reduce melanoma incidence and mortality: The time is now.

Author information

1
Instructor, Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
2
Epidemiologist, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
3
Attending Pediatrician, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.
4
Professor, Department of Dermatology, and Director, Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program, Stanford University Medical Center and Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA.
5
Professor and Assistant Chief, Dermatology Service, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA.
6
Dr. John M. Skibber Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
7
Professor, Department of Cancer Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
8
Medical Director, Melanoma and Skin Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
9
Co-Leader, Melanoma Moon Shot, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

Abstract

Answer questions and earn CME/CNE Although overall cancer incidence rates are decreasing, melanoma incidence rates continue to increase about 3% annually. Melanoma is a significant public health problem that exacts a substantial financial burden. Years of potential life lost from melanoma deaths contribute to the social, economic, and human toll of this disease. However, most cases are potentially preventable. Research has clearly established that exposure to ultraviolet radiation increases melanoma risk. Unprecedented antitumor activity and evolving survival benefit from novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies are now available for patients with unresectable and/or metastatic melanoma. Still, prevention (minimizing sun exposure that may result in tanned or sunburned skin and avoiding indoor tanning) and early detection (identifying lesions before they become invasive or at an earlier stage) have significant potential to reduce melanoma incidence and melanoma-associated deaths. This article reviews the state of the science on prevention and early detection of melanoma and current areas of scientific uncertainty and ongoing debate. The US Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer and US Preventive Services Task Force reviews on skin cancer have propelled a national discussion on melanoma prevention and screening that makes this an extraordinary and exciting time for diverse disciplines in multiple sectors-health care, government, education, business, advocacy, and community-to coordinate efforts and leverage existing knowledge to make major strides in reducing the public health burden of melanoma in the United States. CA Cancer J Clin 2016.

KEYWORDS:

US Food and Drug Administration; US Preventive Services Task Force; indoor tanning; legislation as topic; melanoma/epidemiology; melanoma/prevention and control; public health; sunbathing; suntan; ultraviolet rays/adverse effects

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