Skin cancer - Statistics & Facts

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. The three main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma. BCC and SCC are the most common types of skin cancer, but also the least likely to spread, and therefore the least deadly. Melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, is responsible for thousands of deaths in the United States every year. It is estimated that in 2018, there will be around 55,150 new melanoma cases among men and 36,120 among women in the U.S.

Some people are more susceptible to skin cancer than others, with skin color, gender, age and geography all contributing to risk. Men, for example, are diagnosed with skin cancer at a much higher rate than women. Furthermore, people with lighter skin are at greater risk of sun damage and therefore skin cancer. In 2014, non-Hispanic Whites were diagnosed with melanoma at a rate of 28.9 per 100,000 people, while only two African Americans were diagnosed with melanoma per 100,000.

If detected early enough and proper treatment is implemented, the survival rate for skin cancer is high. From 2007 to 2013, the five-year survival rate in the U.S. for melanoma was 94 percent. However, despite this high rate of survival it is predicted that there will still be over 9,000 deaths from melanoma in 2018.

Skin cancer can be prevented through several easy measures including regular self-checking, periodic appointments with a dermatologist, using sunscreen and avoiding tanning and UV tanning beds. In 2017, dermatologists in the U.S. performed an estimated 3.5 million skin cancer treatments, making skin cancer treatment the most performed procedure among dermatologists that year. Still, the easiest and simplest way to avoid skin cancer is by staying protected from the sun by wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, or seeking shade. A recent survey found that from 2005 to 2015, around 71 percent of respondents stated they usually or always protected themselves from the sun, only 33.7 percent of which said they used sunscreen.

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Skin cancer in the U.S. - Important statistics

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