BACKGROUND: Ninety percent of skin cancers are avoidable. In Denmark, 16,500 cases of melanoma and keratinocyte cancers were registered in 2015. The Danish Sun Safety Campaign has campaigned since 2007, targeting overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. During 2007-2015, the key indicators of skin cancer, i.e. sunbed use and sunburn, showed annual reductions of 6% and 1%, respectively.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to examine the financial savings to society as a result of the campaign reductions in skin cancer cases (2007-2040), and to examine the campaign's cost-benefit and return on investment (ROI).
METHODS: The analysis is based on existing data: (1) annual population-based surveys regarding the Danish population's behavior in the sun; (2) skin cancer projections; (3) relative risks of skin cancers from sunburn and sunbed use and (4) historical cancer incidences, combined with new data; (5) benefits from the avoided costs of skin cancer reductions; and (6) the costs of the Danish Sun Safety Campaign.
RESULTS: The results were based on a reduction of 9000 skin cancer cases, saving €29 million of which €13 million were derived from sunburn reductions and €16 million from reductions in sunbed use. The ROI was €2.18.
CONCLUSION: Skin cancer prevention in Denmark is cost effective. Every Euro spent by the Danish Sun Safety Campaign saved the Danish health budget €2.18 in health expenses.