The Arizona Cancer Registry and the Arizona SunWise Skin Cancer Prevention Program recently received national recognition from the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC released their first annual 2015 Skin Cancer Prevention Progress Report. The document is a follow-up data report to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer and also summarizes prevention efforts from across the country. The Arizona Melanoma Task Force (AMTF) was featured in the report’s “Success Stories From the Field” found on page 2 in the online document.

The AMTF was formed in 2011 with a group of state and local level partners, including individuals from the Arizona Cancer Registry, Arizona SunWise Skin Cancer Prevention Program, dermatologists from the Tucson and Phoenix Dermatology Societies, and the Arizona Skin Cancer Institute at the Arizona Cancer Center. The AMTF conducted a pilot study in 2011-2012 with 15 dermatology clinics in Phoenix and Tucson. The study showed that 72 percent of the melanoma cases at these practices had not been reported to the Arizona Cancer Registry, which is the data we use to determine the incidence of cancer in Arizona.  This tells us that we have significantly underestimated the incidence of melanoma in our state. With the work of the AMTF pilot study now raising provider awareness of the required reporting, we understand that melanoma incidence rates will continue to climb with increased provider reporting. To view additional data about melanoma in Arizona, please visit the 2015 Arizona Melanoma Report.