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“I really believe that my life is to be lived with an attitude of gratitude, that’s how I continue to move forward.  I still really love and enjoy being in the sun.  I’m just a lot more careful now.”

–Julie A. Varoz, Melanoma Cancer Survivor

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Skin Cancer Targets for Change

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. and Utah. Utah’s melanoma cancer incidence is the highest in the nation and continues to rise. It is estimated that 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The risk for melanoma is greatly increased by tanning, from either outside UV exposure or by using indoor sunlamps and tanning beds.

Reduce the percentage of adults who report sunburn in the last twelve months.
Current data: TBD
TBDBaseline
(TBD in 2018 BRFSS)
5% IMPUtah 2020 Target
Data Source: BRFSS
Reduce melanoma cancer deaths.
Current data: 2.89
85% of Goal
3.42Baseline
per 100,000 persons
(2013-2014 Utah Death Certificate Data-base age-adjusted)
2.8Utah 2020 Target
Data Source: Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics
Reduce the proportion of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who report using artificial sources of ultraviolet light for tanning.
Current data: TBD
9.5%Baseline
(2013 YRBS)
7%Utah 2020 Target
Data Source: YRBS

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Skin Cancer Goals, Strategies, and Action Steps

Goal: Prevent skin cancer.


Who is addressing this strategy?
There are currently no projects in progress.
Action Steps

  • Develop strategies for increasing awareness of skin cancer prevention for use in a school-based setting.
  • Increase skin cancer prevention education in worksites and public entities.
  • Provide education on skin cancer prevention and prevalence to policy makers.
  • Identify and educate populations at high risk for skin cancer.
  • Create and market an educational campaign in conjunction with National Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Month in order to increase Utahns’ awareness of skin cancer prevention and prevalence.
National Strategy Alignment: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. Washington, DC; Community Preventative Services Task Force. (2012). Community-Based Skin Cancer Prevention that Works.


Who is addressing this strategy?
There are currently no projects in progress.
Action Steps

  • Advocate for increased availability of shade in schools, worksites, and public places through natural and built structures.
  • Advocate for policy changes in worksites that increase sun protective measures, such as shade and sunscreen, for outdoor employees.
  • Advocate for policy efforts and interventions addressing tanning behavior.
  • Monitor the population’s engagement in skin cancer preventative behaviors for use in the development of evidence-based interventions.
  • Advance statewide policy efforts that increase the legal age of tanning to 18.
National Strategy Alignment: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. Washington, DC; Community Preventative Services



Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change Approaches for Skin Cancer

Setting Non-PSE Approach PSE Approach
School Teach students the importance of wearing sunscreen. Incorporate sun protection as part of school policies, planning, and development of school facilities.
Workplace Encourage employees to avoid prolonged UV exposure. Provide uniforms and apparel that protect against UV exposure to outdoor employees.
Community Organize races or walks to raise awareness of skin cancer. Incorporate shade planning in land use development, support organizational policies that discourage indoor tanning by adolescents and young adults, or advocate for additional policy restrictions.

Additional Resources: