Surprising Skin Cancer Statistics

Merely Me Health Guide
  • Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? Or that each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers? Although most skin cancer is treatable and even curable when caught at an early stage, people still die from certain types of skin cancer, most notably melanoma. The more we increase awareness the more we hope to decrease the odds that you or someone you know will develop skin cancer.

    Here are some more facts about skin cancer:

    • In the course of a lifetime one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. (Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)

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    • More than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year. (Source: American Melanoma Association )


    • It is estimated that there approximately 10,850 Americans will die from skin cancer each year. (Source: The American Cancer Society)


    • Although there is much education out there about sun protection more than one-third of the U.S. population reported having a sunburn in the previous year. In 2005 it was found that only 30% of people reported that they usually apply sunscreen. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


    Squamous Cell and Basal Cell Skin Cancer Facts:

    • Somewhere between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers occur worldwide each year. (Source: World Health Organization)


    • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is rarely fatal but can cause great disfigurement. Squamous cell carcinoma causes approximately 2,500 deaths each year in the U.S. (Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)


    • Approximately half of those who develop one basal cell carcinoma will develop another one within five years. (Source: American Society of Clinical Oncology )


    • The most common type of skin cancer among the African American population is squamous cell carcinoma.   (Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)


    • Squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas have a greater than 95% cure rate when treated early. (Source: Health Central Skin Cancer Statistics )


    For more information about Squamous Cell and Basal Cell Carcinoma please refer to the following Skin Cancer Connection articles:


    Ten Facts about Squamous Cell Carcinoma


    Ten Things You Need to Know about Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Treatment Options for Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Melanoma Statistics:

    • 1 in 58 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime. (Source: American Melanoma Association)

    • Melanoma is not nearly as common as squamous cell or basal cell skin cancer (it only accounts for 3 percent of all skin cancer cases) but is the cause of more than 75% or skin cancer deaths. One person dies of melanoma almost every hour. (Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)


    • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults between the ages of 25-29 years old and is the second most common form of cancer for teens and young adults who are between 15-29 years old. (Source: American Melanoma Association)


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    • Melanoma is the second most common cancer diagnosed in women between the ages of 20 and 30. (Source: Health Central Skin Cancer Statistics )


    • It is true that melanoma is rare for African Americans, Latinos and Asians but it is more frequently fatal for these populations because there is a greater tendency for the patient to have a more advanced case at the time of diagnosis. (Source: The Skin Cancer Foundation)


    For more information about Melanoma please see our melanoma reference pages.  Probably the most important fact of all is that in most cases skin cancer is treatable when caught in the early stages. Nobody has to die from skin cancer. Prevention and early detection are key. Please spread the word about skin cancer awareness. It just may save a life.

Published On: November 09, 2010