Melanoma is one of the most prevalent and deadly cancers in the United States. Despite its frequency, there’s still a pretty shocking lack of awareness among the public about the dangers of the condition, how common the disease really is, and the facts surrounding it. Let’s take a look at six statistics from The Skin Cancer Foundation about melanoma that everyone should know.
Melanoma Fact #1: More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.
This year an estimated 96,480 adults (57,220 men and 39,260 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin, making melanoma the fifth most common cancer among men and women.
Melanoma Fact #2: The number of invasive melanoma cases is on the rise .
In the last 10 years, the number of new invasive melanoma cases diagnosed annually has increased by a shocking 54%, with twice as many cases diagnosed each year now than there were a decade ago.
Melanoma Fact #3: The vast majority of melanoma cases are caused by sun exposure.
The vast majority of melanomas are caused by the sun. In fact, one UK study found that about 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Patients with increased UV radiation exposure (aka anyone who has used a tanning bed) are significantly more likely to develop melanoma.
Melanoma Fact #4: Men age 49 and under have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer.
Men should be especially vigilant when it comes to getting skin screenings for melanoma. In addition to the predominance of developing melanoma, men ages 15-39 are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than women in the same age group.
Melanoma Fact #5: Melanoma accounts for most of the skin cancer deaths.
Malignant melanoma is one of the deadliest cancers diagnosed. Melanoma accounts for about 1% of all skin cancers diagnosed in the United States, but it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths. It is estimated that more than 7,000 deaths from melanoma will occur in 2020, over 4,000 men and 2,000 women.
Melanoma Fact #6: On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if they’ve had more than five sunburns.
Sun protection matters! Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.
Protecting Against Melanoma
There are ways to defend against melanoma. First and foremost, protect your skin when enjoying the sun—wear your sunscreen whenever you go outside. The next best thing you can do is to visit your dermatologist annually for a skin exam.
Based on the stage and time of your diagnosis, most early-stage melanoma can be treated with surgery. There are several different surgeries used to treat melanoma, all of which our talented dermatologists specialize in.
If you’re looking for a board-certified Tampa dermatologist for your skin cancer screening, our talented team of providers are specially trained in the early diagnosis and treatment of melanoma. Book an appointment with us today!