Reducing mortality in individuals at high risk for advanced melanoma through education and screening
Incidence and mortality rates of melanoma throughout most of the developed world have increased in the past 25 years. We propose that reduction of deaths from melanoma can be best enhanced by strong collaborations between experts in dermatology, primary care, oncology, cancer education and health systems research, epidemiologists, and behavioral scientists, among others. Public and professional educational campaigns should be guided by an understanding of 3 underlying but overlapping roots: epidemiology and preventable mortality (an understanding of who is most likely to be given the diagnosis of thick or late-stage melanoma), biology (an investigation of tumor types that are relatively common but potentially most lethal), and sociology (an analysis of the changes needed in social structures to improve access to those most in need of early detection programs). We review these major concepts, concentrating on the key risk factors for advanced melanoma.