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Cancer Deaths - Melanoma

Summary Indicator Report Data View Options

Melanoma Skin Cancer Deaths per 100,000 Population by U.S. States, 2017

Why Is This Important?

Melanoma skin cancer is less common than basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, but it is far more serious. All types of skin cancer are associated with exposure to the sun. New Mexico's desert climate and high elevation contribute to increased levels of sun exposure, resulting in higher overall skin cancer incidence rates. One-third of our state's population lives in Albuquerque, located 5,311 feet above sea level, which receives one of the highest rates of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure in the nation.


Melanoma Skin Cancer Deaths per 100,000 population in New Mexico Melanoma skin cancer mortality is defined as a malignant neoplasm, melanoma of skin (ICD10: C43).

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Number of melanoma skin cancer deaths
Denominator:New Mexico population

How Are We Doing?

The rate of death from melanoma skin cancer among New Mexicans has remained fairly stable at around 2 to 3 deaths per 100,000 from 1999-2017, and has been below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 2.4 per 100,000 population at several points between 1999-2017. However, some groups are more likely to die from melanoma than others. Whites die at significantly higher rates than other racial/ethnic groups in New Mexico, and men die at significantly higher rates than women.

What Is Being Done?

Blistering sunburn in childhood and adolescence is an almost universal risk factor for melanoma in White populations. Potentially, the greatest reductions in the numbers of melanoma skin cancer cases could come from preventive strategies. Communities throughout the state participate in the New Mexico Department of Health Comprehensive Cancer Program's RAYS Project - Raising Awareness in Youth about Sun Safety. Elementary school kids are taught the importance of being sun safe to reduce the risk of future skin cancer. The project focuses on policy changes such as allowing children to wear hats during recess, in addition to personal behaviors such as staying out of the sun and covering up with long sleeves and hats. Since 2002, more than 40,000 children, parents and community members have been reached with educational messages about sun safety through the RAYS Project.

Evidence-based Practices

The CDC's Guide to Community Preventive Services provides information on evidence-based education and policy approaches that aim to increase behaviors such as: -reducing sun exposure, especially during peak hours -improving knowledge and attitudes about sun protection among children and adults -changing policies and creating sun-safe environments including more shade structures

Available Services

The New Mexico Department of Health, Comprehensive Cancer Program, Raising Awareness among Youth about Sun Safety (RAYS) Project (

More Resources

New Mexico Department of Health Comprehensive Cancer Program ( United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ( The Guide to Community Preventive Services (

Health Program Information

Visit the New Mexico Department of Health Comprehensive Cancer Program website at:

Indicator Data Last Updated On 12/26/2018, Published on 10/05/2021
Cancer Prevention and Control Section, Population and Community Health Bureau, Public Health Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 5301 Central Ave. NE, Suite 800, Albuquerque, NM 87108, Telephone: (505) 841-5840. For data inquiries, contact the Cancer Section Epidemiologist, Libby Bruggeman, PhD, MA (email: or the Medical Officer/Epidemiologist, Susan Baum, MD, MPH (email: