June 6, 2018

Report: CT skin cancer rate 2nd highest in U.S.

Janine Gelineau/UConn Health Photo
Janine Gelineau/UConn Health Photo
A body-mapping device at UConn Health

Connecticut residents were diagnosed with skin cancer at the second highest rate among all states in 2016, according to a recent report.

The report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association says Connecticut's rate of skin cancer diagnosis was 5.6 percent in 2016, exceeding the national rate of 4.3 percent.

Skin cancer diagnoses are also far more likely in the Northeast compared to other sections of the U.S., as five states ranked in the top 10, the report says.

Florida led the nation in skin cancer diagnoses (7.1 percent), followed by Rhode Island and Vermont (5.3 percent) in fourth. Massachusetts and New York (5 percent) tied in sixth for the highest skin cancer diagnosis rate.

Meantime, the report found that skin cancer, the most common cancer in the U.S., affected more than 9 million commercially insured people with annual treatment costs of about $5.3 billion. Almost 9,500 people across the country are diagnosed with skin cancer each day, it said.

Skin cancer's most dangerous form, melanoma, increased by 7 percent in a four-year span.

Dr. Bruce Nash, chief physician executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, called the data "alarming,' and said that more education is needed to inform residents about the risk of skin cancer.

View the full report here.

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