The constant exhortations to use sunscreen during these warm months is reasonable when you consider that an average of 251 New Jerseyans die each year of melanoma of the skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That equates to a death rate of 2.6 per 100,000 individuals.
Most of those who die from skin cancer are white — 243 — but an average of five Hispanics and six African-Americans also die from the disease each year. More males (156) than females (96) are likely to die from it.
The counties with the highest rate of melanoma deaths are Warren (4.1), Gloucester (4.0), and Ocean (3.9). Eight counties met the federal government’s objective of having a death rate lower than 2.4 — Salem, Essex, Mercer, Hudson, Middlesex, Union, Passaic, and Cumberland.