Incidence of skin melanoma in Connecticut towns and counties, 1997-2003.Conn Med 2007; 71(5):275-9CM
Incidence rates for malignant melanoma of the skin have continued to rise in Connecticut and other populations covered by high-quality population-based cancer registries. Known risk factors include periodic intense exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as excessive tanning efforts and sunburns. Numbers of melanomas diagnosed in 1997-2003 by town of residence in Connecticut were examined in relation to the numbers expected on the basis of statewide incidence rates. Of the 24 towns located directly on the ocean shoreline, 15 (62.5%) had a statistically significant elevated number of melanomas in males and/or females, or when data for both sexes were combined. Analysis of melanoma incidence rates by county showed considerable variation, with highest rates in New London county. Primary prevention efforts for both children and adults should include physician advice for high-risk patients regarding excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and statewide public health efforts that take into account the geographic patterns.