Virginia Beach Dermatologist – Facts about Skin Cancer
General Facts About Skin Cancer
- Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than one million skin cancers are diagnosed annually.
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; about one million of the cases diagnosed annually are basal cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinomas are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. More than 250,000 cases are diagnosed each year, resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths.
- Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two major forms of non-melanoma skin cancer. Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have either skin cancer at least once.
- In 2004, the total direct cost associated with the treatment for non-melanoma skin cancers was more than $1 billion.
- About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
- Up to 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun.
- Contrary to popular belief, 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is not acquired before age 18; only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18.
|Lifetime UV Exposure in the United States|
Average Accumulated Exposure*
|*Based on a 78 year lifespan|
- The incidence of many common cancers is falling, but the incidence of melanoma continues to rise significantly, at a rate faster than that of any of the seven most common cancers.
- Approximately 62,480 melanomas will be diagnosed this year, with nearly 8,420 resulting in death.
- Melanoma accounts for about three percent of skin cancer cases, but it causes more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.
- Melanoma mortality increased by about 33 percent from 1975-90, but has remained relatively stable since 1990.
- Survival with melanoma increased from 49 percent between 1950 and 1954 to 92 percent between 1996 and 2003.
- More than 20 Americans die each day from skin cancer, primarily melanoma. One person dies of melanoma almost every hour (every 62 minutes).
- The survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the epidermis, is about 99 percent. The survival rate falls to 15 percent for those with advanced disease.3
- Melanoma is the sixth most common cancer for males and seventh most common for females.
- Women aged 39 and under have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast cancer.
- Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for young adults 15-29 years old.
- About 65 percent of melanoma cases can be attributed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
- One in 55 people will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime.
- One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.
- A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns at any age.
MEN / WOMEN
- The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
- Contrary to popular belief, recent studies show that people receive a fairly consistent dose of ultraviolet radiation over their entire lifetime. Adults over age 40, especially men, have the highest annual exposure to UV.
- The number of women under age 40 diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma has more than doubled in the last 30 years; the squamous cell carcinoma rate for women has also increased significantly.
- Until age 39, women are almost twice as likely to develop melanoma as men. Starting at age 40, melanoma incidence in men exceeds incidence in women, and this trend becomes more pronounced with each decade.
- One in 41 men and one in 61 women will develop melanoma in their lifetime.
- Melanoma is one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men.
- Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a proven human carcinogen, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Frequent tanners using new high-pressure sunlamps may receive as much as 12 times the annual UVA dose compared to the dose they receive from sun exposure.
- Nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the U.S. every year; 2.3 million of them are teens.
- On an average day, more than one million Americans use tanning salons.
- Seventy one percent of tanning salon patrons are girls and women aged 16-29.
- First exposure to tanning beds in youth increases melanoma risk by 75 percent.
- People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.
- The indoor tanning industry has an annual estimated revenue of $5 billion.
- Melanoma accounts for up to three percent of all pediatric cancers.
- Between 1973 and 2001, melanoma incidence in those under 20 rose 2.9 percent.
- Melanoma is seven times more common between the ages of 10 and 20 than it is between 0 and 10 years.
- Diagnoses – and treatment – are delayed in 40 percent of childhood melanoma cases.
- Ninety percent of pediatric melanoma cases occur in girls aged 10-19.
- Asian American and African American melanoma patients have a greater tendency than Caucasians to present with advanced disease at time of diagnosis.
- The average annual melanoma rate among Caucasians is about 22 cases per 100,000 people. In comparison, African Americans have an incidence of one case per 100,000 people. However, the overall melanoma survival rate for African Americans is only 77 percent, versus 91 percent for Caucasians.
- While melanoma is uncommon in African Americans, Latinos, and Asians, it is frequently fatal for these populations.
- Melanomas in African Americans, Asians, Filipinos, Indonesians, and native Hawaiians most often occur on non-exposed skin with less pigment, with up to 60-75 percent of tumors arising on the palms, soles, mucous membranes and nail regions.
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common cancer in Caucasians, Hispanics, Chinese, and Japanese populations.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common skin cancer among African Americans and Asian Indians.
- Among non-Caucasians, melanoma is a higher risk for children than adults: 6.5 percent of pediatric melanomas occur in non-Caucasians.