Understanding skin cancer statistics can help you protect yourself more effectively and plan your next steps if you receive a diagnosis. Skin cancer rates make this disease the most common type of cancer in the United States — by far — but a wide range of risk factors and behaviors play a role in determining who gets skin cancer, and when. And, although a diagnosis of this type is never comfortable, skin cancer mortality rates are actually quite low, especially when the disease is caught early.
Skin Cancer Rates
- One in five U.S. Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
- Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S.; in fact, skin cancer is more common than all other cancers, combined.
- In the U.S., 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.
- Skin cancer rates are rising: Diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancers increased by 77% between 1994 and 2014; new invasive melanoma cases rose by 44% between 2011 and 2021.
- Skin cancer rates vary depending on ethnicity and skin tone. However, in general, women are more likely to be diagnosed before the age of 50; men are more likely to be diagnosed after age 50.
- White men are the most likely group to develop a melanoma; however, no ethnicity is immune from skin cancer. In those with darker skin tones and complexions, skin cancer is most likely to appear in less-exposed areas, especially the plantar portion of the foot.
Don’t forget: exposure to UV rays through tanning beds and natural sunlight is the most common cause of skin cancer. Don’t be a statistic; be proactive, wear sunscreen every day, and don’t go tanning.
Skin Cancer Mortality Statistics
- The five-year survival rate for melanoma is up to 99% when detected early. Across all stages, the survival rate drops to 93%. The survival rate is 66% for melanoma cancers that have reached the lymph nodes, and 27% for melanoma cancers that have passed from the lymph nodes to other organs. Age, gender, and ethnicity may all impact these statistics.
- Skin cancer is more common in people with fair hair and fair skin, but late-stage melanoma diagnoses are more common for non-white people. Only 16% of non-Hispanic white melanoma patients receive an initial late-stage diagnosis. This number rises to 26% for people of Hispanic descent and up to 52% for non-Hispanic Black people.
- Skin cancer mortality statistics are less readily available for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These cancers are less deadly and less likely to spread, but because they are much more common than melanoma, they can occasionally have dire consequences.
- So, how many people die from skin cancer? An estimated 2,000 people in the U.S. die from basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma each year. By contrast, an estimated 7,180 people will die of melanoma in the U.S. in 2021.
- Although age plays a role in the likelihood of occurrence, men are, in general, more likely to die of skin cancer than women. Of the 7,180 estimated patients mentioned above, 4,600 will be men and 2,580 will be women.
Image Guided Superficial Radiotherapy May Be Right for You
Now that you’ve had a chance to review common skin cancer statistics, you know how important it is to schedule regular screenings with a dermatologist. If you’ve recently received a non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosis, ask your doctor if Image Guided Superficial Radiotherapy, or IG-SRT, is right for you! This surgery-free treatment method is just as effective as Mohs surgery, without the risk of scarring.