Melanoma rates up, but prevention methods help, CDC says

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Atlanta – Incidence rates of the most deadly form of skin cancer have doubled in the past three decades, but communities can take steps to prevent many new cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From 1982 to 2011, cases of melanoma increased from 11.2 per 100,000 to 22.7 per 100,000, the center stated in its June 2015 CDC Vital Signs report. Melanoma is caused by skin exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun and indoor tanning sources.

More than 9,000 Americans die from melanoma annually, and skin cancer rates are expected to increase during the next 15 years, according to CDC. However, the agency states that community programs could help prevent 21,000 estimated new melanoma cases each year.

Among the recommendations communities and policymakers can undertake to help reduce melanoma risks:

  • Increase shade at public spaces, including playgrounds and pools.
  • In recreation areas, promote sun protection such as hats, sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Restrict minors’ use of indoor tanning.