The cost of skin cancer treatment in the United States more than doubled between 2002 and 2011, and rose five times faster than treatments for other cancers, according to study findings published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The analysis of national data indicates that the average annual number of adults treated for skin cancer increased from 3.4 million in the years 2002 to 2006 to 4.9 million during the years 2007 to 2011.
According to the report, at the same time, the average yearly cost of skin cancer treatment climbed from $3.6 billion to $8.1 billion, an increase of 126 percent. During the same period, the average annual cost of treatment for all other cancers rose 25 percent.
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“The findings raise the alarm that not only is skin cancer a growing problem in the United States, but the costs for treating it are skyrocketing relative to other cancers,” study lead author Gery P. Guy Jr., Ph.D., M.P.H., of the division of cancer prevention and control at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an agency news release. “This also underscores the importance of skin cancer prevention efforts,” he added.