Skin Cancer Awareness
Early Detection Increases SurvivalMay is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. This month is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the importance of prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer, including basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma. More than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed annually in more than 2 million people.
Skin Cancer Facts
- In 2013, about 76,690 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 45,060 in men and 31,630 in women). Incidence rates for melanoma
have been rising for at least 30 years.
- Unlike many other common cancers, melanoma occurs in both younger and older people. Rates continue to increase with age and are highest among those in
their 80's, but melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it is one of the more common cancers in young adults (especially young women).
- Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans.
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US. BCC's are rarely fatal,
but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the US,
resulting in approximately 2,500 deaths.
- Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.
- Between 40 and 50 percent of Americans who live to age 65 will have either skin cancer at least once.
- Who survives skin cancer? The 5-year survival rate for patients, whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is about 97%. The 5-year survival rate falls to 15% for those with advanced disease.
Source: American Cancer Society's What are the key statistics about melanoma? webpage and Skin Cancer Foundation's Skin Cancer Facts webpage.
Skin Cancer Research, Diagnosis and Treatment News
from the University of Michigan
- Spread of human melanoma cells in mice correlates with clinical outcomes in patients, study finds
- Patients' underlying health linked to worse outcomes for melanoma, U-M study finds
- Sentinel node biopsy safe, effective in head and neck melanomas, U-M study finds
Skin Cancer Foundation: Sun Protection for Your Health and Home
American Cancer Society: FDA Approves Drug for Basal Cell Carcinoma
American Society of Clinical Oncology: New Guideline Provides Evidence-based Recommendations on Use of Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Melanoma Staging in the United States