Report Shows Cape Cod Has 4th Highest Skin Cancer Rate in the Country

CHICAGO – A recent report released by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association lists the Barnstable-Yarmouth metro area as having the fourth highest skin cancer rate in the country.

The rate of 8.6 percent was only behind the Sarasota-Bradenton, Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie, and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton areas of Florida.

The report also indicates that the prevalence of melanoma diagnoses have increased across the country by 7 percent over a four-year span.

Findings show that the rate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) members living with melanoma more than double when men reach ages 55 through 64 and surpass rates for women in that age range. Women 54 years and younger have higher prevalence of diagnosed melanoma than men.

Non-melanoma skin cancer diagnoses are more prevalent in women at 4.6 percent compared to men at 3.5 percent, but the average cost of treating women is $468 compared to $678 for men.

In 2013, 237,000 commercially insured BCBS members within a sample of 41 million people were identified as having diagnosed melanoma, compared to 257,000 in 2016. Despite the increase, melanoma made up just 2.8 percent of all skin cancer diagnoses.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.

Nearly 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with it every single day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Skin cancer affected 4.3 percent of BCBS members. By taking the skin cancer diagnosis rate found in the study and extrapolating it to 216 million privately insured people counted by the U.S. Census Bureau, BCBSA estimates that nine million privately insured people in the U.S. are living with a skin cancer diagnosis.

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