Skin cancer rates, including rates of melanoma, are increasing in the United States and worldwide. An estimated 3.7 million cases of basal and squamous cell carcinomas and about 60,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the U.S. annually, with approximately 8,500 deaths from melanoma.
A majority of skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or from indoor tanning devices, and are therefore preventable. Evidence clearly links exposure to UV radiation and a history of sunburn (indicating both intensity of UV exposure and skin sensitivity to radiation) to an increased risk of skin cancer.
More than one-third of U.S. adults aged 18 and older report experiencing one or more sunburns in the past 12 months, and sunburn is even more common among younger adults. Only 10.8% of U.S. high school students report wearing sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher most of the time or always when outside for more than one hour on a sunny day.
Our R2R July cyber-seminar introduced many of us to how the County Level UV Exposure Data for the Continental United States dataset can help predict potential exposure at local levels. Dr. Tatalovich’s presentation was followed by an overview of New Mexico's robust multi-level effort around skin cancer prevention. Zaria and Beth then join forces for a fascinating discussion on the evolving emphasis on policy within the current projects on sun safety.
And now we turn the discussion over to you...
- Do tools such as UV Exposure data and mapping tools truly help to build support for implementing evidence-based programs?
- Beth spoke about a number of low-resource (and no resource) interventions the NMCCCP was able to implement. Do you have any success stories to share? What works in your state/county/territory?
- What did you take away from today's session?