Melanoma reporting to state cancer registries

Dermatologists are required by law to report all new cases of melanoma to their state’s central cancer registry.

However, regional studies and anecdotal evidence demonstrate that many dermatologists are unaware of this obligation or do not use the state registry to report melanoma cases. This underreporting of melanoma results in an underestimation of the true incidence of this disease, which inhibits the ability to respond in a timely fashion with public health initiatives.

This reporting requirement is separate from the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and is mandated by state laws in all 50 states. These laws require that all cases of melanoma be reported to the state registry when diagnosed by a health care provider, laboratory, or hospital. Required reporting enables states to identify disease trends, track disease outbreaks, and aid in preventive measures.