DefinitionThe rate of melanoma incidence in Utah per 100,000 population (ICD-O3 Site C440-C449 and Histology 8720-8790: Melanoma of the Skin, which corresponds to ICD-10 code C43).
NumeratorThe number of melanoma incidents among Utahns for a specific time period (ICD-O3 Site C440-C449 and Histology 8720-8790: Melanoma of the Skin, which corresponds to ICD-10 code C43).
DenominatorThe total population of Utah for a specific time period.
Why Is This Important?According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is much less common than other skin cancers such as basal cell and squamous cell, but it is far more dangerous.
Risk factors that can be controlled are exposure to sunlight and UV radiation during work and play. A history of sunburns early in life increases one's risk for melanoma. Risk for melanoma also increases with the severity of the sunburn or blisters. Lifetime sun exposure, even if sunburn does not occur, is another risk factor for melanoma.
Another modifiable risk factor is location. People who live of certain areas in the U.S. experience higher rates of melanoma. These are areas with a high elevation, warmer climate, and where sunlight can be reflected by sand, water, snow, and ice.
Risk for melanoma is greatly increased by tanning, both outside with oils and by using sunlamps and tanning booths. Even people who tan well without burning are at risk for melanoma. Tan skin is evidence of skin damaged by UV radiation. Health care providers strongly encourage people, especially young people, to avoid tanning beds, booths, and sunlamps. The risk of melanoma is greatly increased by using these artificial sources of UV radiation before age 30.
How Are We Doing?Utah's age-adjusted rate for melanoma incidence has been rising steadily from 20.5 per 100,000 population in 2000 to 42.4 per 100,000 population in 2014.
Among local health districts, during 2012-2014 the highest age-adjusted melanoma of the skin incidence rate was in Summit County an age-adjusted rate of 76.8 per 100,000 population. Summit County health district was also the only health district to be significantly above the state rate during this time frame. From 2012-2014 Southeast health district had the lowest age-adjusted melanoma incidence rate of 21.6 per 100,000 population.
Utah males were significantly more likely than Utah females to be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin. This difference between males and females increases with age; from 2012-2014 among those 65 years of age and over, the melanoma incidence rate for Utah males was 217.1 per 100,000 persons while the rate for females was 80.8 per 100,000 persons.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?Utah has consistently ranked as the highest state nationally in terms of melanoma death and incidence. In 2013, the age-adjusted melanoma incidence rate in Utah was 37.4 per 100,000 and 20.7 in the U.S.
What Is Being Done?The Utah Department of Health initiated the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN), a statewide partnership whose goal is to reduce the burden of cancer. The mission of the UCAN is to lower cancer incidence and mortality in Utah through collaborative efforts directed toward cancer prevention and control. As a result of this planning process, objectives and strategies have been developed by community partners regarding the early detection of cervical, breast, and colorectal cancers as well as the promotion of physical activity, healthy eating habits, melanoma cancer prevention, and cancer survivorship advocacy.