Skin Cancer Facts

  • More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. (1)
  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. (2)
  • There were about 108,230 new cases of melanoma in 2007. (3) At current rates, a person has a one in 33 chance of developing melanoma (both in situ and invasive). The risk of developing invasive melanoma is one in 63.
  • Melanoma is the second most common cancer in women aged 20-29. (4)
  • An estimated 10,850 people will die of skin cancer this year, primarily from melanoma. (5)
  • The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 60,000 people a year worldwide die from too much sun, mostly from malignant skin cancer. Of these deaths, 48,000 are from melanoma, and 12,000 are from other skin cancers. About 90 percent of these cancers are caused by ultraviolet light from the sun. (6, 7)
  • Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma have a better than 95 percent five-year cure rate if detected and treated early. (8)

Source

(1, 2, 3, 5) Source: American Cancer Society’s 2007 Facts & Figures
(4) Source: National Cancer Institute, SEER database, 1996-2000
(6) Source: Global burden of disease from solar ultraviolet radiation, World Health Organization, 2006.
(7) Source: The Burden of Skin Diseases 2004, Copyright 2006, the Society for Investigative Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
(8) Source: Wong CS, Strange RC, Lear, JT. Basal cell carcinoma. BMJ 2003; 327(7418): 794-8.


Skin Cancer Prevention

The most important measure you can take to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself from the sun. Some people think about sun protection only when they plan on spending a day at the beach. You should incorporate sun protection into your daily routine.

Tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays every day.
  • Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
PHDermatology