Dec 21, 2016 The JAMA Network

Trends in US Melanoma Incidence and Mortality

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The incidence of and mortality from invasive melanoma in the United States has risen steadily for at least the past 2 decades.1 Similar trends are being seen worldwide despite numerous efforts to enhance primary prevention and early detection, and these increasing rates are having an impact on the public health and economic burden of disease. In 2009, we reported on the status of US melanoma incidence at that time.2 The purpose of this study was to provide updated information on trends in melanoma incidence and mortality that will help to elucidate the current state of this cancer in the United States.


The absolute number of invasive melanomas reported in 2016 were obtained for comparison with similarly obtained data in 2009.1,3 Calculations were made to determine the lifetime risk of developing a melanoma based on estimated annual incidence, average life expectancy, and the base years’ US population after correcting for persons with multiple primary melanomas. Raw incidence rates were calculated for 2016 and compared with 2009 to determine the cumulative increase. Compound annual growth rates (CAGR) were then calculated to determine the annual percentage growth rate over the 7-year study interval. Institutional review board approval was not applicable because this study did not report on data involving human subjects.


An estimated 76 380 Americans will be diagnosed with invasive melanoma in 2016.1 Melanoma raw incidence rates per 100 000 population also climbed from 22.2 to 23.6 (0.9% CAGR). The current lifetime risk of an American developing invasive melanoma is 1 in 54 compared with 1 in 58 when we last reported in 2009 (Figure 1).2 In situ melanoma incidence has risen more rapidly over the studied period (3.0% CAGR) with the lifetime risk of developing in situ melanoma rising from 1 in 78 to 1 in 58 during the studied period. In combination with the estimated 68 480 cases of in situ melanoma in 2016, the lifetime risk for being diagnosed with invasive or in situ melanoma is now 1 in 28. The annual number of population-adjusted melanoma deaths has risen at a 1.5% CAGR (raw mortality rates per 100 000 population increasing from 2.8 to 3.1) with a current estimate that 10 130 Americans will die from melanoma in 2016 (up from 8650 in 2009)

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