Skin cancer is the number one cancer diagnosis in the United States – more common than all breast, prostate, and lung cancers combined. The majority of cases are caused by sun damage to skin cells, and therefore are largely preventable. These facts will give you a better understanding of the disease.
- Each year in the U.S. over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people.
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer1 than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
- Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma at least once.
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer.6 More than 4 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
- Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer.7More than 1 million cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
- Organ transplant patients are approximately 100 times more likely than the general public to develop squamous cell carcinoma.
- Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.
- About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
- 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.
Types of skin cancer:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: approximately 2.8 million cases per year in the U.S.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: approximately 700,000 cases per year in the U.S.
- Melanoma: the most serious of the three, with 76,690 cases of invasive melanoma per year (approx. 54,020 “in situ”)
- From 1970-2009, the incidence of melanoma increased by 800% among young women and 400% among young men.
- The vast majority of skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.
- On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour. In 2017, it is estimated that 9,730 deaths will be attributed to melanoma — 6,380 men and 3,350 women.
- According to a recent study, men diagnosed with melanoma between the ages of 15 and 39 were 55 percent more likely to die from melanoma than females diagnosed with melanoma in the same age group.
- An estimated 3,860 deaths from skin cancers other than melanoma and NMSC will occur in the United States in 2017.
- The World Health Organization estimates that more than 65,000 people a year worldwide die from melanoma.
- An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.
- 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.
- Sun damage is cumulative. Only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18.
Prevention and detection
- Because exposure to UV light is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, the American Academy of Dermatology encourages everyone to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and using a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 30 or higher.
- Because severe sunburns during childhood may increase one’s risk of melanoma, children should be especially protected from the sun.
- People should not use tanning beds or sun lamps, which are sources of artificial UV radiation that may cause skin cancer.
- Skin cancer warning signs include changes in size, shape or color of a mole or other skin lesion, the appearance of a new growth on the skin, or a sore that doesn’t heal. If you notice any spots on your skin that are different from the others, or anything changing, itching or bleeding, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist.
- The American Academy of Dermatology encourages everyone to perform skin self-exams to check for signs of skin cancer and get a skin exam from a doctor. A dermatologist can make individual recommendations as to how often a person needs these exams based on risk factors, including skin type, history of sun exposure and family history.
- Individuals with a history of melanoma should have a full-body exam by a board-certified dermatologist at least annually and perform regular self-exams to check for new and changing moles.
Another prevention is UV Protective Clothing which you can purchase right here on our site. Shop now. We have items for Adults and Children.