Skin cancer incidence is highly associated with ultraviolet-B radiation history.Int J Hyg Environ Health 2010; 213(5):359-68IJ
Recently, the increased amount of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) exposure due to ozone depletion has been found to be associated with increased incidence of skin cancer across the world. The quantification of individual, regional, and historical UV exposure directly affects establishment of the association between skin cancer and UV exposure, but accurate assessment and measurement have been challenging for decades. As a sequence, cumulative studies using different metrics reported conflicting results on whether UV radiation, including sunburns, early childhood sun exposure, and chronic exposure, increases melanoma risk. This paper aims to establish the relationship between UV-B and melanoma incidence across the continental U.S. using an ecological approach that incorporate more accurate UV-B exposure measured by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration Nimbus-7 total ozone mapping spectrometer, and the United State Department of Agriculture ground-based network. Using statistical linear mixed models, we found strong positive associations between the skin cancer and the past UV exposure or the past cumulative 3-year UV exposure 3 or 4 years ago. UV has regional distributions and its regional effects on the skin cancer incidence are still significant after adjusting the effect of UV exposure. Research findings yield deepened understanding of spatiotemporal distribution of melanoma incidence rates and a greater appreciation for the complexity and heterogeneity of melanoma risk factors especially the UV-B exposure at different temporal and spatial scales.