Office of Air and Radiation (6205J)   EPA-430-M3-028   November 2013
survivor story:

Yvonne Short

              When I spotted a funny-
              looking mole on my leg, I saw
              a dermatologist right away.
              He took one look and said,
              "If that is not melanoma,
              I will be shocked." Sure
enough, the biopsy came back positive, and I
had the mole and surrounding tissue removed.
Thankfully, the cancer had  not spread—I am
one lucky woman!

I grew up spending summers by the pool and
on the beach. As a fair-skinned, blond child, I
had to first burn and peel before  I would start
to tan. I seldom used sunscreen and at most,
applied SPF2or4. Every summer I wound up
with a serious, blistering sunburn. As I got older,
I started tanning—both outdoors and  in tanning
beds. I didn't realize the risk of skin cancer; I
was only warned about getting wrinkles.

After my diagnosis, I still spend a lot of time
outdoors—but I do it safely by wearing wide-
brimmed hats, sun-protective clothing, and
sunscreen. I  especially enjoy sailing, walking
my dogs, and gardening. No more tanning for
me! Because of my newfound diligence, I will
live to sail another race.
Yvonne Short enjoys sun-safe outdoor adventures in
Gary, NC.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed

in the  United States.1"5 This fact sheet presents statistics

about skin cancer for North Carolina and the United  States.

just the facts: Skin Cancer in North Carolina

• Sunburns. A survey conducted in 2004 found that nearly 30% of White adults in
   North  Carolina had experienced  at least one sunburn in the pastyear.6 Sunburns
   are a significant risk factor for the development of skin cancer.4'7"9

• New Cases of Melanoma. An estimated 2,620 residents of North Carolina will be
   diagnosed with melanoma in 2013.3 Melanoma is responsible for about 75% of all
   deaths from skin cancer.3'10

   •  The rate of new melanoma diagnoses in North Carolina is rising faster than
      that of all other types of cancer except thyroid—with an increase of more
      than 5% per year from 2005 to 2009."
   •  North  Carolina has the fifth highest rate of new melanoma diagnoses
      nationwide among Whites, who are at the highest risk for melanoma."
   •  Davie  County has  the highest rate of new melanoma diagnoses in the
      state—123% above the national average."
• Deaths from Melanoma. About 287 people in North  Carolina die of melanoma
   every year.12

   •  Among Whites, North Carolina has the third highest death rate from
      melanoma nationwide.12'13
   •  The death rate from melanoma among residents of North Carolina aged  50
      and older is rising faster than that of any other cancer except liver and bile
      duct cancer.12

   1~41 All references can be found on the SunWise Web site at:
Annual Rate of New Melanoma Diagnoses, 2005-2009"
All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages
  Melanoma Diagnoses per Year per 100,000 People
  0 9.0-17.4 0 17.5-25.9 Q 26.0-34.4 | 34.5-42.9
  Q Data Not Available
                 Melanoma Death Rates, 2005-2009"
                 All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages
                  Melanoma Deaths per Year per 100,000 People
                  n 2.4-2.5 n 2.6-2.7 • 2.8-2.9 • 3.0-3.3
     Recycled/Recyclable—Printed with vegetable oil-based inks on processed chlorine-free paper that contains at least 50% post-consumer fiber.

     The  Cost of Skin  Cancer
            In the United States, medical costs to treat

            melanoma skin cancer in 2010 were estimated

            at almost $2.4 billion. These costs are projected

            to reach at least $3.2 billion by 2020.14
statistics:  Cause for Concern

• More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are
   diagnosed each year,2 making it the most common
   of all cancers in the United States.135 More people
   will be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2013 than the
   number diagnosed with breast, prostate, lung, and
   colon cancers combined.3 More than 1 in 5 Americans
   will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.15

• One American dies of melanoma every hour.3

• Melanoma is the most commonly diagnosed cancer
   and the second leading cause of cancer death for
   young adults 25-29 years old.16

• For people born in 2009,1 in 50 will be diagnosed
   with melanoma16—nearly 30 times the rate for
   people born in the 1930s.17
            National Annual Rate of New Melanoma Diagnoses, 2005-2009"
            All Races, Both Sexes, All Ages, Age-adjusted Rates
             Melanoma Diagnoses per Year per 100,000 People

             Q 8.5-16.2 Q 16.3-18.7 Q 18.8-20.7 • 20.8-22.5 • 22.6-29.8
            * Please note that delays in reporting melanoma cases to cancer registries are more common since they are usually
             diagnosed and treated in non-hospital settings such as physician offices. States are grouped into quintiles based on
             rates of melanoma diagnoses. A quintile is a statistical "block" representing 20% of a total. Because data are available
             for 50 states and D.C., four quintiles include ten states, and one quintile includes eleven. For example, the eleven states
             with the highest melanoma rates—22.6 to 29.8 diagnoses per 100,000 residents every year—are in the top quintile.
what works:

An  Ounce of Prevention

• Unprotected exposure to ultraviolet light—a known human
   carcinogen—is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.71823
   Taking simple steps as early in life as possible can reduce one's risk.3'5'24'25

• Early detection of melanoma can save one's life.26 32 Skin examinations
   may be the best way to detect skin cancer early.3'33~37

• The CDC found evidence that education and policy approaches in
   primary schools (for  children) and in recreational or tourism settings
   (for adults) can improve sun safety behaviors.3839

• Student self-reported data40—collected as part of the U.S. EPA's
   SunWise Program—showed that teachers using the SunWise Tool
   Kit for 1-2 hours yearly can spur increases in students' sun safety
   knowledge and attitudes and small to modest  improvements in
   short-term sun safety behaviors.41

   •  Using the data mentioned above, published modeling results
      show SunWise teaching between 1999 and 2015 could prevent
      more than 50 premature deaths and 11,000 future cases of skin
      cancer, saving the country more than $30 million in medical costs
      and productivity losses.41

1~41 All references can be found on the SunWise Web site at:
                               skin  cancer  prevention:

                               Action Steps

                               •  Do Not Burn. Overexposure to the sun is the
                                  most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.

                               •  Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds.
                                  UV light from tanning beds and the sun
                                  causes skin cancer and wrinkling.

                               •  Use Sunscreen. Generously apply a broad
                                  spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or
                                  higher. Reapply at least every two hours, and
                                  after swimming or sweating.

                               •  Cover Up. Wear protective clothing, such as
                                  a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed
                                  hat, and sunglasses with 99-100% UVA/UVB
                                  protection, when possible.

                               •  Seek Shade. Seek shade when the sun's
                                  UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m.
                                  and 4 p.m.

                               •  Watch for the UV Index. Pay attention to the
                                  UV Index when planning outdoor  activities to
                                  prevent overexposure to the sun.