Designing and validating a high-risk skin cancer screening program in Rhode Island
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The incidence of melanoma has increased steadily in the United States over several decades, doubling in the years between 1982 and 2011. The incidence of melanoma, currently at 19.7/100,000 person years, is projected to continue to rise. This tumor is responsible for the majority of skin cancer related deaths, totaling approximately 9000 person per year. Without intervention, the annual cost of treating new melanomas in the United States is projected to increase from $457 million in 2011 to $1.6 billion in 2030.3 These costs and associated mortality of melanomas can be reduced through public health measures. In Rhode Island, melanoma incidence has increased 86% compared to an increase of 64% in the national population since 1987 (infographic). More concerning, mortality rates from melanoma in Rhode Island have increased 4% compared to 0% in the national population since 1987 (infographic). The Center for Disease Control’s Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends community-based public health programs in combating the rise in melanoma, using educational, environmental, and policy interventions. Skin cancer screenings by dermatologists in at-risk populations may help to facilitate the diagnosis and mortality of melanoma through early detection.