Epidemic of skin cancer and cost of treating it attract attention from CDC
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AAD President Brett Coldiron, MD, whose term of office ends this month, told DW in 2011 that “Dermatologic procedures have increased so much because there is an epidemic in skin cancer.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released data that back him up. In “Prevalence and Costs of Skin Cancer Treatment in the U.S., 2002-2006 and 2007 to 2011,” published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the agency compiles data on all forms of skin cancer during the two time periods and notes a significant spike in both (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2014.08.036). The study finds that total treatment costs for all skin cancers rose from an annual average of $3.57 billion between 2002 and 2006 to an annual average of $8.075 billion between 2007 and 2011. The authors conclude that “the health and economic burden of skin cancer treatment is substantial and increasing. These findings highlight the importance of skin cancer prevention and early detection efforts.”

The report echoes the recent national call to action from the U.S. Surgeon General. The AAD offers a variety of prevention and detection information to the public through its SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative and SPOTme skin cancer screening program; learn more at SPOTSkinCancer.org.

How much did incidence and treatment costs rise for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers? See the chart below.