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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Melanoma of the Skin Deaths

Why Is This Important?

While melanoma is much less common than other skin cancers such as basal cell and squamous cell, it is far more dangerous. According to the American Cancer Society, there are several risk factors associated with melanoma. Risk factors that can be individually controlled or modified are excessive exposure to sunlight and UV radiation during work and recreation. A history of sunburns early in life significantly increases one's risk for melanoma. Risk for melanoma also increases with the increased severity of sunburn or blisters. Lifetime sun exposure, even if sunburn does not occur, is another risk factor for melanoma. Another risk factor for melanoma is geography. People who live of certain areas of the U.S. such as areas with a high elevation, warmer climate, and where sunlight can be reflected by sand, water, snow, and ice experience higher rates of melanoma. Utah is one such geographic location that provides these conditions. Risk for melanoma is greatly increased by the practice of 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. The risk of melanoma is greatly increased by using these artificial sources of UV radiation before age 30. Health care providers strongly encourage people, especially young people, to avoid tanning beds, booths, and sunlamps.

Melanoma of the Skin Deaths, Utah and U.S., 1999-2018

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Data Sources

  • Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2018
  • U.S. Underlying Cause of Death Data: WONDER Online Database. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed at []

Data Notes

ICD-O3 Site C440-C449 and Histology 8720-8790: Melanoma of the Skin, which corresponds to ICD-10 code C43.   [[br]][[br]] Age-adjusted to U.S. 2000 standard population.

How Are We Doing?

Utah has consistently ranked as one of the highest states in terms of melanoma incidence and mortality nationwide, partially due to its geographic features such as high elevation and desert landscape that contribute to increased risk of developing melanoma. In Utah, melanoma death rates have decreased somewhat in the past decade, from 4.0 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2009 to 2.8 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2018. Skin cancer death rates in Utah vary based on geography, age, sex, and ethnicity. Age-adjusted mortality rates for combined years 2014-2018 show melanoma death rates vary across local health districts (LHDs), from a high of 5.3 deaths per 100,000 persons in Wasatch LHD to 1.7 deaths per 100,000 persons in Southeast LHD. Rates of skin cancer deaths increase significantly with age. From 2016-2018 for all groups over the age of 45, males were significantly more likely to die from skin cancer than females (10.3 deaths per 100,000 males compared to 3.9 deaths per 100,000 females). Data from the last 10 years (2008-2018) show that those who ethnically identify as non-Hispanic have significantly higher rates of skin cancer death (3.4 deaths per 100,000 persons) compared to those who identify as Hispanic (0.5 deaths per 100,000 persons).

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.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the melanoma cancer death rate

U.S. Target: 2.4 deaths per 100,000 population
State Target: 2.8 deaths per 100,000 population

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 10/29/2019

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 23 February 2020 4:43:25 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 29 Oct 2019 16:48:39 MDT