Skin cancer drop in Northeast bucks rising rates elsewhere

FILE - This photo provided by the American Academy of Dermatology shows a typical presentation of a suspicious mole that eventually was diagnosed as melanoma. (American Academy of Dermatology via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — A decline in melanoma cases and deaths in Northeast states bucks a national trend for the deadliest skin cancer and may reflect benefits of strong prevention program.

That’s according to a new study comparing regional U.S. data from 2003 and 2013. The researchers note that the Melanoma Foundation of New England has revved up programs including putting sunscreen dispensers in public places in Boston and other New England cities. Overexposure to sunlight increases risk for melanoma.

Nationally, melanoma cases have steadily increased over the past two decades. The American Cancer Society estimates that when 2016 cases are tallied, more than 76,000 Americans will have been diagnosed during the year. U.S. melanoma deaths also have risen.

The new study was published online Wednesday in JAMA Dermatology.

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