Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics (2022)

What You Need to Know

Get the facts about skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States and worldwide.

  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.
  • Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.
  • When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to skin cancer, so make sure you know all the facts. You can #SharetheFacts on social media by downloading images from our Skin Cancer Awareness Toolkit.For the latest news, visit our Press Room.

  • General facts
  • Nonmelanoma skin cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Indoor tanning
  • Skin aging
  • Ethnicity
  • Pediatrics
  • Rare skin cancers
  • Skin cancer pictures
(Video) Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics

General facts

  • In the U.S., more than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. More than two people die of the disease every hour.1,2, 9
  • More than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer were treated in over 3.3 million people in the U.S. in 2012, the most recent year new statistics were available.1
  • More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.2
  • At least one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.3
  • Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.4
  • The annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion: about $4.8 billion for nonmelanoma skin cancers and $3.3 billion for melanoma.5

Nonmelanoma skin cancer

  • The diagnosis and treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers in the U.S. increased by 77 percent between 1994 and 2014.6
  • About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.7
  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 3.6 million cases of BCC are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.8,1
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 1.8 million cases of SCC are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.8,1
  • The latest figures suggest that more than 15,000 people die of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in the U.S. each year9 — more than twice as many as from melanoma.
  • More than 5,400 people worldwide die of nonmelanoma skin cancer every month.27
  • Organ transplant patients are approximately 100 times more likely than the general public to develop squamous cell carcinoma.10
  • Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent.11
  • Incidence rates of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer, increased by 95 percent from 2000 to 2013.40

Melanoma

  • It’s estimated that the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed in 2022 will decrease by 4.7 percent.2
  • The number of melanoma deaths is expected to increase by 6.5 percent in 2022. 2
  • An estimated 197,700 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2022. Of those, 97,920 cases will be in situ (noninvasive), confined to the epidermis (the top layer of skin), and 99,780 cases will be invasive, penetrating the epidermis into the skin’s second layer (the dermis). Of the invasive cases, 57,180 will be men and 42,600 be women.2
  • In the past decade (2012 – 2022), the number of new invasive melanoma cases diagnosed annually increased by 31 percent.2
  • An estimated 7,650 people will die of melanoma in 2022. Of those, 5,080 will be men and 2,570 will be women.2
  • The vast majority of melanomas are caused by the sun. In fact, one UK study found that about 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.12
  • Compared with stage I melanoma patients treated within 30 days of being biopsied, those treated 30 to 59 days after biopsy have a 5 percent higher risk of dying from the disease, and those treated more than 119 days after biopsy have a 41 percent higher risk.13
  • Across all stages of melanoma, the average five-year survival rate in the U.S. is 93 percent. The estimated five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 99 percent. The survival rate falls to 68 percent when the disease reaches the lymph nodes and 30 percent when the disease metastasizes to distant organs.2
  • Only 20 to 30 percent of melanomas are found in existing moles, while 70 to 80 percent arise on apparently normal skin.14
  • On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if they have had more than five sunburns,15 but just one blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.39
  • Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.16
  • Melanoma accounts for 6 percent of new cancer cases in men, and 5 percent of new cancer cases in women. 2
  • Men age 49 and under have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer.2
  • From ages 15 to 39, men are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than women in the same age group.17
  • Women age 49 and under are more likely to develop melanoma than any other cancer except breast and thyroid cancers.2
  • From age 50 on, significantly more men develop melanoma than women. The majority of people who develop melanoma are white men over age 55. But until age 49, significantly more non-Hispanic white women develop melanoma than white men (one in 157 women versus one in 233 men). Overall, one in 27 white men and one in 40 white women will develop melanoma in their lifetime.2
(Video) Top skin cancer facts

Indoor tanning

  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a proven human carcinogen.18
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an affiliate of the World Health Organization, includes ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices in its Group 1, a list of agents that are cancer-causing to humans. Group 1 also includes agents such as plutonium, cigarettes and solar UV radiation.19
  • Ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices were reclassified by the FDA from Class I (low risk) to Class II (moderate to high risk) devices as of September 2, 2014.20
  • Indoor tanning devices can emit UV radiation in amounts 10 to 15 times higher than the sun at its peak intensity.41
  • Nineteen states plus the District of Columbia prohibit people younger than 18 from using indoor tanning devices: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Maryland. Oregon and Washington prohibit those under age 18 from using indoor tanning devices unless a prescription is provided.21
  • Brazil and Australia have banned indoor tanning altogether. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom have banned indoor tanning for people younger than age 18.22
  • The cost of direct medical care for skin cancer cases attributable to indoor tanning is $343.1 million annually in the U.S.23
  • More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year are linked to indoor tanning, including about 245,000 basal cell carcinomas, 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas and 6,200 melanomas.24
  • More people develop skin cancer because of indoor tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.24
  • Those who have ever tanned indoors have a 83 percent increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma43 and a 29 percent increased risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.24
  • Any history of indoor tanning increases the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma before age 40 by 69 percent.25
  • Women who have ever tanned indoors are six times more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma in their 20s than those who have never tanned indoors. At all ages, the more women tan indoors, the higher their risk of developing melanoma.26
  • One study observing 63 women diagnosed with melanoma before age 30 found that 61 of them (97 percent) had used tanning beds.26
  • People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent.28
  • Indoor tanning among U.S. high school students decreased by 53 percent between 2009 and 2015.29

Skin aging

(Video) 7 surprising skin cancer facts
  • An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.30
  • People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.31
  • Sun damage is cumulative. Only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18.32
Ages Average Accumulated Sun Exposure*
1-18 23 percent
19-40 47 percent
41-59 74 percent
60-78 100 percent
*Based on a 78-year life span

Ethnicity

  • The estimated five-year melanoma survival rate for Black patients is only 71 percent, versus 93 percent for white patients.2
  • Skin cancer represents approximately 2 to 4 percent of all cancers in Asians.33
  • Skin cancer represents 4 to 5 percent of all cancers in Hispanics.38
  • Skin cancer represents 1 to 2 percent of all cancers in Black people.3
  • Melanomas in Black people, Asians and native Hawaiians most often occur on nonexposed skin with less pigment, with up to 60 to 75 percent of tumors arising on the palms, soles, mucous membranes and nail regions.33
  • In nonwhites, the plantar portion of the foot is often the most common site of skin cancer, being involved in 30 to 40 percent of cases.38
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer in Black people.33
  • Late-stage melanoma diagnoses are more prevalent among Hispanic and Black people than non-Hispanic white people; 52 percent of non-Hispanic black patients and 26 percent of Hispanic patients receive an initial diagnosis of advanced-stage melanoma, versus 16 percent of non-Hispanic white patients.34
  • People of color have higher percentages of acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM, melanoma of the palms, soles and nailbeds) than Caucasians, whereas superficial spreading melanoma is the most frequent subtype in Caucasians and Hispanics.38

Pediatrics

  • Melanoma in children and adolescents accounts for a tiny percentage of all new melanoma cases in the United States, with about 400 cases a year in children under 20 years old.45
  • Skin cancers account for 3 percent of pediatric cancers. 44
  • Between 2005 and 2015, the melanoma incidence in 10 to 29-year-olds dropped about 4 percent per year among males and 4.5 percent per year among females. 42
  • The treatment of childhood melanoma is often delayed due to misdiagnosis of pigmented lesions, which occurs up to 40 percent of the time.36
(Video) Know the facts about skin cancer

References

  1. Rogers HW, Weinstock MA, Feldman SR, Coldiron BM. Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer (keratinocyte carcinomas) in the US population, 2012. JAMA Dermatol 2015; 151(10):1081-1086.
  2. Cancer Facts and Figures 2022. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2022/2022-cancer-facts-and-figures.pdfAccessed January 19, 2022.
  3. Stern, RS. Prevalence of a history of skin cancer in 2007: results of an incidence-based model. Arch Dermatol 2010; 146(3):279-282.
  4. The Lewin Group, Inc. The Burden of Skin Diseases 2005. Prepared for the Society for Investigative Dermatology, Cleveland, OH, and the American Academy of Dermatology Assn., Washington, DC, 2005.
  5. Guy GP, Machlin SR, Ekwueme DU, Yabroff KR. Prevalence and costs of skin cancer treatment in the U.S., 2002-2006 and 2007-2011. Am J Prev Med 2015; 48(2):183-187. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.08.036.
  6. Mohan SV, Chang AL. Advanced basal cell carcinoma: epidemiology and therapeutic innovations. Curr Dermatol Rep 2014; 3(1):40-45. doi:10.1007/s13671-014-0069-y.
  7. Koh HK, Geller AC, Miller DR, et al. Prevention and early detection strategies for melanoma and skin cancer: Current status. Arch Dermatol 1996; 132(4):436-442.
  8. Our New Approach to a Challenging Skin Cancer Statistic.The Skin Cancer Foundation.https://www.skincancer.org/blog/our-new-approach-to-a-challenging-skin-cancer-statistic/
  9. Mansouri B, Housewright C. The treatment of actinic keratoses—the rule rather than the exception. J Am Acad Dermatol 2017; 153(11):1200. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.3395.
  10. Lindelöf B, Sigurgeirsson B, Gäbel H, et al. Incidence of skin cancer in 5356 patients following organ transplantation. Br J Dermatol 2000; 143(3):513-9.
  11. Green A, Williams G, Neale R, et al. Daily sunscreen application and betacarotene supplementation in prevention of basal-cell and squamous-cell carcinomas of the skin: a randomized controlled trial. The Lancet 1999; 354(9180):723-729.
  12. Parkin DM, Mesher D, Sasieni P. Cancers attributable to solar (ultraviolet) radiation exposure in the UK in 2010. Br J Cancer 2011; 105:S66-S69.
  13. Conic RZ, Cabrera CI, Khorana AA, Gastman BR. Determination of the impact of melanoma surgical timing on survival using the National Cancer Database. J Am Acad Dermatol 2018; 78(1):40-46.e7. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2017.08.039.
  14. Cymerman RM, Shao Y, Wang K, et al. De novo versus nevus-associated melanomas: Differences in associations with prognostic indicators and survival. J Natl Cancer Inst 2016 May 27; 108(10). doi:10.1093/jnci/djw121.
  15. Pfahlberg A, Kölmel KF, Gefeller O. Timing of excessive ultraviolet radiation and melanoma: epidemiology does not support the existence of a critical period of high susceptibility to solar ultraviolet radiation-induced melanoma. Br J Dermatol 2001; 144:3:471-475.
  16. Green AC, Williams GM, Logan V, Strutton GM. Reduced melanoma after regular sunscreen use: randomized trial follow-up. J Clin Oncol 2011; 29(3):257-263.
  17. Fisher DE, Geller AC. Disproportionate burden of melanoma mortality in young US men. JAMA Dermatol 2013; 149(8): 903. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.20134437.
  18. Ultraviolet-radiation-related exposures. Broad-spectrum UVR, pp. 1-5. NTP (National Toxicology Program). 2014. Report on Carcinogens, Thirteenth Edition. Research Triangle Park, NC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/ultravioletradiationrelatedexposures.pdf. Accessed January 26, 2018.
  19. El Ghissassi F, Baan R, Straif K, et al. Special report: policy. A review of human carcinogens—part D: radiation. The Lancet 2009; 10(8):751-752. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(09)70213-X.
  20. National Cancer Institute. U.S. indoor tanning rates are dropping, but still high. https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2015/indoor-tanning. Accessed January 31, 2018.
  21. Indoor tanning restrictions for minors — a state-by-state comparison. NCSL, National Conference of State Legislatures. http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/indoor-tanning-restrictions.aspx. Accessed January 29, 2018.
  22. Skin cancer: indoor tanning is not safe. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/indoor_tanning.htm. Last updated January 5, 2016, last reviewed January 22, 2016. Accessed January 31, 2018.
  23. Waters HR, Adamson A. The health and economic implications of the use of tanning devices. J Cancer Policy 2017; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpo.2016.12.003.
  24. Wehner MR, Chren MM, Nameth D, et al. International prevalence of indoor tanning: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol 2014; 150(4):390-400. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.6896.
  25. Ferrucci LM, Cartmel B, Molinaro AM, et al. Indoor tanning and risk of early-onset basal cell carcinoma. J Am Acad Dermatol 2012 Oct; 67(4):552-62. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2011.11.940.
  26. Lazovich D, Vogel RI, Weinstock MA, et al. Association between indoor tanning and melanoma in younger men and women. JAMA Dermatol 2016; 152(3): 268–275. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.2938
  27. Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration. Global, regional and national cancer incidence, mortality, years of life lost, years lived with disability, and disability-adjusted life-years for 29 cancer groups, 1990 to 2017. JAMA Oncol. 2019;5(12):1749-1768. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2996.
  28. The International Agency for Research on Cancer Working Group. The association of use of sunbeds with cutaneous malignant melanoma and other skin cancers: a systematic review. Int J Canc 2006; 120:1116-1122.
  29. Guy GP Jr, Berkowitz Z, Everett Jones S, et al. Prevalence of indoor tanning and association with sunburn among youth in the United States. JAMA Dermatol 2017; 153(5):387-390. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.6273.
  30. Taylor CR, Stern RS, Leyden JJ, Gilchrest BA. Photoaging/photodamage and photoprotection. J Am Acad Dermatol 1990; 22:1-15.
  31. Hughes MCB, Williams GM, Baker P, Green AC. Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2013; 158(11):781-790.
  32. Godar DE, Urbach F, Gasparro FP, van der Leun JC. UV doses of young adults. Photochem Photobiol 2003; 77(4):453-7.
  33. Gloster HM, Neal K. Skin cancer in skin of color. J Am Acad Dermatol 2006; 55:741-60.
  34. Hu S, Soza-Vento RM, Parker DF, et al. Comparison of stage at diagnosis of melanoma among Hispanic, black, and white patients in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Arch Dermatol 2006; 142(6):704-8.
  35. Dean PH, Bucevska M, Strahlendorf C, Verchere C. Pediatric melanoma: a 35-year population-based review. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2017; 5(3): e1252.
  36. Ferrari A, Bono A, Baldi M, et al. Does melanoma behave differently in younger children than in adults? A retrospective study of 33 cases of childhood melanoma from a single institution. Pediatrics 2005; 115(3):649-57.
  37. Cancer Facts and Figures 2011. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2011.html. Accessed January 13, 2021.
  38. Bradford, Porcia T. Skin Cancer in Skin of Color. Dermatol Nurs 2009 Jul-Aug; 21(4): 170-178.
  39. Lew RA, Sober AJ, Cook N, et al. Sun exposure habits in patients with cutaneous melanoma: a case study. J Dermatol Surg Onc 1983; 12:981-6.
  40. Paulson KG, Park SY, Vandeven NA, et al. Merkel cell carcinoma: Current US incidence and projected increases based on changing demographics. J Am Acad Dermatol 2018; 78:457-463.
  41. Le Clair MZ, Cockburn MG. Tanning bed use and melanoma: Establishing risk and improving prevention interventions. Prev Med Rep. 2016; 3:139–144. Published 2016 Jan 14. doi:10.1016/j.pmedr.2015.11.016
  42. Paulson KG, Gupta D, Kim TS, et al. Age-specific incidence of melanoma in the United States. JAMA Dermatol. 2020; 156(1):57–64. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.3353
  43. Lergenmuller S, Ghiasvand R, Robsahm TE, et al. Association of lifetime Indoor tanning and subsequent risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. JAMA Dermatol. 2019; 155(12):1350–1357. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.2681
  44. Han D, Zager JS, Han G, et al. The unique clinical characteristics of melanoma diagnosed in children. Ann Surg Oncol. 2012;19(12):3888–3895. doi:10.1245/s10434-012-2554-5
  45. Pappo AS, McPherson V,Haitao P, et al.A prospective, comprehensive registry that integrates the molecular analysis of pediatric and adolescent melanocytic lesions, American Cancer Society Journals, July 2021 https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.33750

Last updated: May 2022

(Video) 14 Facts about Skin Cancer Rates | Skin Cancer

FAQs

What percentage of the population has skin cancer? ›

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. It is estimated that approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.

What cause 90% of skin cancer? ›

More than 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure . Skin cancers are divided into two major groups: nonmelanoma and melanoma. Nonmelanoma skin cancers (usually basal cell and squamous cell) are the most common cancers of the skin.

What is the number 1 risk for skin cancer? ›

Exposure to UV Rays

Most people get at least some UV exposure from the sun when they spend time outdoors. Making sun protection an everyday habit will help you to enjoy the outdoors safely, avoid getting a sunburn, and lower your skin cancer risk.

What really causes skin cancer? ›

Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. To lower your risk of getting skin cancer, you can protect your skin from UV rays from the sun and from artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps.

Where is skin cancer most common? ›

Skin cancer develops primarily on areas of sun-exposed skin, including the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms and hands, and on the legs in women. But it can also form on areas that rarely see the light of day — your palms, beneath your fingernails or toenails, and your genital area.

What is the survival rate of skin cancer? ›

5-year relative survival rates for melanoma skin cancer
SEER stage5-year relative survival rate
Localized99%
Regional68%
Distant30%
All SEER stages combined93%
1 Mar 2022

Who is most affected by skin cancer? ›

Melanoma is more common in men overall, but before age 50 the rates are higher in women than in men. The risk of melanoma increases as people age. The average age of people when it is diagnosed is 65. But melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30.

What age do most people get skin cancer? ›

[1-4] In contrast to most cancer types, melanoma skin cancer also occurs relatively frequently at younger ages. Age-specific incidence rates increase steadily from around age 20-24 and more steeply in males from around age 55-59. The highest rates are in in the 85 to 89 age group for females and males.

Can eating healthy prevent skin cancer? ›

Vitamins C, E and A, zinc, selenium, beta carotene (carotenoids), omega-3 fatty acids, lycopene and polyphenols are among the antioxidants many dermatologists recommend including in your diet to help prevent skin cancer. You can find them in many everyday nourishing whole foods.

What would you do to avoid skin cancer? ›

Practice Sun Safety
  1. Stay in the shade.
  2. Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  3. Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  4. Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
  5. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

What are the 2 most common forms of skin cancer? ›

Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are the most common types of skin cancer.

What race gets skin cancer the most? ›

Invasive melanoma of the skin is the third most common skin cancer type.
...
Incidence.
Race/EthnicitybRateCount
US Population
White24.973,395
White, Hispanic4.61,591
White, non-Hispanic28.071,801
23 more rows
27 Jun 2019

What chemicals cause skin cancer? ›

Chemical exposure: Certain chemicals, including arsenic, industrial tar, coal, paraffin and certain types of oil, may increase the risk for certain types of non-melanoma skin cancers.

How fast does skin cancer grow? ›

Some forms of skin cancer tend to grow in a matter of weeks, while others grow over months, or even longer. While a number of factors determine how fast or slow skin cancer may grow in any one individual, some types of skin cancer are more aggressive than others.

Is it easy to get skin cancer? ›

Skin cancer is actually one of the easiest cancers to find. That's because skin cancer usually begins where you can see it. You can get skin cancer anywhere on your skin — from your scalp to the bottoms of your feet. Even if the area gets little sun, it's possible for skin cancer to develop there.

Can you get skin cancer without sun exposure? ›

However, melanomas can also occur on parts of the body that have never been exposed to the sun. Like all cancers, melanomas are the result of changed or damaged genes that lead to cancer cells being able to grow and invade other tissues.

What causes skin cancer besides the sun? ›

Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are often promoted as a safer and faster alternative to long hours laying out in the sun. However, ultraviolet light, regardless of whether it is from the sun or an indoor treatment, are equally dangerous.

What is skin cancer called? ›

There are scattered cells called melanocytes where the epidermis meets the dermis. These cells produce the pigment melanin, which gives skin its color. Melanoma starts in melanocytes, and it is the most aggressive type of skin cancer.

Which state has highest skin cancer rate? ›

Key findings:
  • Utah, Vermont and Minnesota have the highest rates of skin cancer.
  • Texas, Alaska and New Mexico have the lowest rates of skin cancer.
  • Skin cancer rates rose by as much as 21% in some states.
  • Nearly 2,500 fewer people died from skin cancer in the last two years.
20 Jul 2022

How long does skin cancer take to spread? ›

Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as 6 weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun. Nodular melanoma is a highly dangerous form of melanoma that looks different from common melanomas.

Is skin cancer usually fatal? ›

Most skin cancers can be cured if they're treated before they have a chance to spread. However, more advanced cases of melanoma can be fatal. The earlier skin cancer is found and removed, the better your chances for a full recovery.

How long can you have skin cancer without knowing? ›

For example, certain types of skin cancer can be diagnosed initially just by visual inspection — though a biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. But other cancers can form and grow undetected for 10 years or more , as one study found, making diagnosis and treatment that much more difficult.

How often is skin cancer fatal? ›

Death from basal and squamous cell skin cancers is uncommon. It's thought that about 2,000 people in the US die each year from these cancers, and that this rate has been dropping in recent years.

How common is skin cancer in the world? ›

Currently, between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year. One in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer and, according to Skin Cancer Foundation Statistics, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

Is skin cancer more common in males or females? ›

When it comes to skin cancer, men far outnumber women. In skin cancer statistics, there's a glaring difference between the genders. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, more than half (57%) of those diagnosed with one basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are men.

At what age should I worry about skin cancer? ›

Age. Most basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas typically appear after age 50. However, in recent years, the number of skin cancers in people age 65 and older has increased dramatically.

Can too much vitamin D cause skin cancer? ›

We found that people who have high levels of vitamin D in their blood, have an increased risk of two skin cancer types, namely basal cell carcinoma (the most common type of skin cancer) and melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer).

Which fruit is good for skin cancer? ›

Food That Lower Your Skin Cancer Risk

Beta-carotene – Orange fruits and vegetables like squash, carrots, yams, cantaloupe, mangoes, peaches, and apricots. Vitamin C – Citrus fruits, strawberries, raspberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and leafy greens.

Does skin cancer feed on sugar? ›

The Challenge: Most cells need sugar (glucose) to function well because glucose gives them energy to do their work. Cancer cells are no different. They use a lot of sugar when they're growing and spreading. This is also true for squamous cell skin cancer, the second most common form of skin cancer.

What is the best cream for skin cancer? ›

Topical chemotherapy

5-fluorouracil (5-FU): The drug most often used in topical treatment of actinic keratoses, as well as some basal and squamous cell skin cancers, is 5-FU (with brand names such as Efudex, Carac, and Fluoroplex). It is typically applied to the skin once or twice a day for several weeks.

Can skin cancer appear overnight? ›

Melanomas may appear suddenly and without warning. They are found most frequently on the face and neck, upper back and legs, but can occur anywhere on the body.

What are 10 ways to prevent skin cancer? ›

Skin Cancer Prevention
  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
  • Don't get sunburned.
  • Avoid tanning, and never use UV tanning beds.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.

What is worse squamous or basal? ›

Though not as common as basal cell (about one million new cases a year), squamous cell is more serious because it is likely to spread (metastasize). Treated early, the cure rate is over 90%, but metastases occur in 1%–5% of cases.

Where does skin cancer spread to? ›

Melanoma can spread to almost anywhere in the body but the most common places for it to spread are the: lymph nodes. lungs. liver.

What are the 4 signs of skin cancer? ›

Use the “ABCDE rule” to look for some of the common signs of melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer:
  • Asymmetry. One part of a mole or birthmark doesn't match the other.
  • Border. The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • Color. ...
  • Diameter. ...
  • Evolving.
9 Apr 2020

Can skin cancer run in the family? ›

In some cases, however, skin cancers are hereditary and an increased risk of developing the disease can be passed from parent to child. It is estimated that roughly five to ten percent of melanoma cases are hereditary and caused by a pathogenic gene variant, or change in a gene sequence.

Does darker skin protect against skin cancer? ›

Dark skin does provide some protection against the sun's ultraviolet rays, but it's a myth that people with dark skin tones are immune to the harmful effects of UV radiation. People of color have a lower risk of developing skin cancer than people with fair skin tones, but UV exposure raises the risk for everyone.

Why is skin cancer rare in dark skin? ›

The low incidence of skin cancers in darker skinned groups is primarily a result of photo-protection provided by increased epidermal melanin, which filters twice as much ultraviolet (UV) radiation as does that in the epidermis of Caucasians (Montagna and Carlisle, 1991).

Which Neutrogena sunscreen causes cancer? ›

Johnson & Johnson Pacific is recalling all batches of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+ in Australia after small levels of benzene, which can potentially cause cancer, was detected under product testing.

What does Stage 1 skin cancer look like? ›

At first, cancer cells appear as flat patches in the skin, often with a rough, scaly, reddish, or brown surface. These abnormal cells slowly grow in sun-exposed areas.

What are the 3 types of skin cancer? ›

There are three main types of skin cancer. The most serious is melanoma. Our skin is made up of cells: basal cells, squamous cells and melanocytes. The different types of skin cancer are named for the skin cell where the cancer develops: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Does skin cancer show up in blood work? ›

Can Blood Tests or Scans Detect Skin Cancer? Currently, blood tests and imaging scans like MRI or PET are not used as screening tests for skin cancer.

Can skin cancer spread to the brain? ›

Among all cancer types, melanoma is especially likely to spread to the brain. Studies estimate that between 40% to 75% of people whose melanoma spreads will end up with one or more brain metastases.

Can skin cancer spread by touch? ›

No, skin cancer is absolutely not contagious—either by touch or by any other means. Although certain viral and bacterial infections are linked to 15–20% of cancers worldwide, cancer itself is not the kind of disease that can be transmitted by close contact and shared air.

› health › skin-cancer ›

Most melanomas are treatable when caught early. However, without treatment, they can spread to other parts of your body and become harder to treat. In addition,...
What does skin cancer look like? See pictures of skin cancer and get the facts on skin cancer symptoms, signs, treatment, prevention, causes (tanning, genetics)...
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Learn about different types of skin cancer, what skin cancer might look like, sun safety, and other resources.

How fast does skin cancer grow? ›

Some forms of skin cancer tend to grow in a matter of weeks, while others grow over months, or even longer. While a number of factors determine how fast or slow skin cancer may grow in any one individual, some types of skin cancer are more aggressive than others.

Did you know facts about skin? ›

A single square inch of skin has about 19 million cells and up to 300 sweat glands. Your skin is its thickest on your feet (1.4mm) and thinnest on your eyelids (0.2mm). The skin renews itself every 28 days. Your skin constantly sheds dead cells, about 30,000 to 40,000 cells every minute!

What are the 4 types of skin cancer? ›

There are 4 main types of skin cancer:
  • Basal cell carcinoma. Basal cells are the round cells found in the lower epidermis. ...
  • Squamous cell carcinoma. Most of the epidermis is made up of flat, scale-like cells called squamous cells. ...
  • Merkel cell cancer. ...
  • Melanoma.

When did skin cancer start? ›

The earliest physical evidence of melanoma comes from the diffuse melanotic metastases found in the skeletons of Pre-Colombian mummies (radiocarbon dated to be ~2400 years old) from Chancay and Chingas in Peru (7).

How long can you have skin cancer without knowing? ›

For example, certain types of skin cancer can be diagnosed initially just by visual inspection — though a biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis. But other cancers can form and grow undetected for 10 years or more , as one study found, making diagnosis and treatment that much more difficult.

Can skin cancer go away by itself? ›

Melanoma can go away on its own. Melanoma on the skin can spontaneously regress, or begin to, without any treatment. That's because the body's immune system is able launch an assault on the disease that's strong enough to spur its retreat.

Does skin cancer show up in blood work? ›

Can Blood Tests or Scans Detect Skin Cancer? Currently, blood tests and imaging scans like MRI or PET are not used as screening tests for skin cancer.

What are 5 interesting facts about the skin? ›

Here are 10 facts about your skin.
  • Your skin is made up of three layers. ...
  • Your skin is the largest organ of the body. ...
  • The average human being has 21 sq. ...
  • Collagen is what determines how smooth your skin is. ...
  • Your skin renews itself every 28 days.

What organ affects the skin? ›

Your integumentary system is an organ that consists of a few main structures: skin, nails, hair and glands, along with the nerves and blood vessels that support them.

Is skin the largest organ? ›

The skin is the largest organ of the body. The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection. It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature.

What light causes skin cancer? ›

UVB rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays. They can damage the DNA in skin cells directly, and are the main rays that cause sunburns. They are also thought to cause most skin cancers.

What is worse squamous or basal? ›

Though not as common as basal cell (about one million new cases a year), squamous cell is more serious because it is likely to spread (metastasize). Treated early, the cure rate is over 90%, but metastases occur in 1%–5% of cases.

How do we prevent skin cancer? ›

Practice Sun Safety
  1. Stay in the shade.
  2. Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  3. Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  4. Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
  5. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

What race has the highest rate of skin cancer? ›

Invasive melanoma of the skin is the third most common skin cancer type.
...
Incidence.
Race/EthnicitybRateCount
US Population
White24.973,395
White, Hispanic4.61,591
White, non-Hispanic28.071,801
23 more rows
27 Jun 2019

Is it easy to get skin cancer? ›

Skin cancer is actually one of the easiest cancers to find. That's because skin cancer usually begins where you can see it. You can get skin cancer anywhere on your skin — from your scalp to the bottoms of your feet. Even if the area gets little sun, it's possible for skin cancer to develop there.

Where does skin cancer spread to? ›

Melanoma can spread to almost anywhere in the body but the most common places for it to spread are the: lymph nodes. lungs. liver.

Videos

1. Melanoma Statistics | Did You Know?
(National Cancer Institute)
2. DermTV - Skin Cancer Statistics [DermTV.com Epi #203]
(dermTVdotcom)
3. Behind the Science: Cancer Facts & Figures 2011
(American Cancer Society)
4. Top 3 Skin Cancer Facts Little Silver New Jersey
(NewResponseMarketing)
5. Skin Cancer PSA - Statistics
(mcgwebcontent)
6. Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention
(MelanomaCanada)

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