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July 1996

Survey of Knowledge of and Awareness About Melanoma—United States, 1995

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(7):747-748. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890310021002

SKIN CANCER is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States.1 Although the incidence of melanoma is lower than those of squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas, melanoma is associated with the highest case-fatality rate of all skin cancers. In 1996, an estimated 38,300 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed, and approximately 7300 melanoma-associated deaths will occur.2 Primary and secondary prevention strategies can assist in reducing the occurrence of melanoma and deaths associated with this cancer, and information about public awareness of melanoma, including risk factors, can assist in developing intervention strategies. To assess public knowledge and awareness about melanoma, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) conducted a nationwide telephone survey in 1995. This report summarizes the survey findings, which indicate that a high proportion (42%) of respondents had no knowledge about melanoma, and the level of awareness about melanoma was lowest among persons aged 18-24 years.

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