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      State of the Science on Prevention and Screening to Reduce Melanoma Incidence and Mortality: The Time is Now

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          Although overall cancer incidence rates are decreasing, melanoma incidence rates continue to increase about 3% annually. Melanoma is a significant public health problem that exacts a substantial financial burden. Years of potential life lost from melanoma deaths contribute to the social, economic and human toll of this disease. However, most cases are potentially preventable. Research has clearly established that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation increases melanoma risk. Unprecedented anti-tumor activity and evolving survival benefit from novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies are now available for patients with unresectable and/or metastatic melanoma. Still, prevention (minimizing sun exposure that may result in tanned or sunburned skin and avoiding indoor tanning) and early detection (identifying lesions before they become invasive, or at an earlier stage) have significant potential to reduce melanoma incidence and melanoma-associated deaths. This paper reviews the state of the science on prevention and early detection of melanoma, and current areas of scientific uncertainty and ongoing debate. The US Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer and US Preventive Services Task Force reviews on skin cancer have propelled a national discussion on melanoma prevention and screening that makes this an extraordinary and exciting time for diverse disciplines in multiple sectors – health care, government, education, business, advocacy and community – to coordinate efforts and leverage existing knowledge to make major strides in reducing the public health burden of melanoma in the US.

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          Author and article information

          CA Cancer J Clin
          CA Cancer J Clin
          CA: a cancer journal for clinicians
          28 May 2016
          27 May 2016
          12 November 2016
          27 November 2017
          : 66
          : 6
          : 460-480
          Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
          Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
          Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
          Department of Dermatology, Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program, Stanford University Medical Center and Cancer Institute Stanford, California; Dermatology Service, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California
          Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
          Author notes
          Correspondence: Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, MD, Dr. John M. Skibber Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Professor, Department of Cancer Biology, Medical Director, Melanoma and Skin Center, Co-Leader, MD Anderson Melanoma Moon Shot, Unit 444; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, jgershen@ 123456mdanderson.org , Office – 713-792-6936
          PMC5124531 PMC5124531 5124531 nihpa783572


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