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Age first diagnosed with melanoma

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults who had ever been told that they had melanoma (CNMELN), CNMELNAG reports how old the person was when melanoma was first diagnosed.

Related Variables 

CNMELNAG is one of a series of variables reporting age at first diagnosis of specific types of cancer. Other variables in the series report age at diagnosis of the following types of cancer:

  • mouth, lip, or tongue cancer (CNMOTHAG)

  • skin cancer of an unknown type (CNSKDKAG)

  • soft tissue (muscle or fat) cancer (CNSOFTAG)

The age at first diagnosis for any other kind of cancer not previously listed is reported in CNOTHRAG.


This variable is completely comparable for the 1997-2018 samples. Several changes introduced in 2019 may affect comparability with earlier years, including (1) the introduction of a new, additional skin melanoma cancer type variable (CNSKMELN); and (2) the introduction of a major questionnaire redesign.

In 2019, a new cancer type variable, skin melanoma cancer (CNSKMELN) (separately and in addition to the already existing melanoma cancer type (CNMELN)), was added. According to the National Cancer Institute, melanoma is a type of cancer that affects melanocytes (cells that color the skin), and is typically found in the skin, but can also appear in the eye (intraocular or ocular melanoma). Interviewers did not read the list of cancer types aloud to respondents, and instead coded the verbatim responses provided by respondents into the list of cancer types when the response was recorded. For this reason, it is not possible to know whether skin melanoma cancer in 2019 is comparable to melanoma cancer in 2018 and earlier years, or whether melanoma cancer other than skin melanoma cancer reported in 2019 is comparable to soft tissue cancer (CNSOFT) in 2018 and earlier years.

The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.


  • 1997-2018: Sample adults 18+ who were ever told they had melanoma.
  • 2019-2022: Sample adults 18+ who were ever told they had melanoma (CNMELN).


  • 1997-2022