GentleCure Blog

What Is the Skin Cancer Survival Rate?

By the age of 70, one in five Americans is likely to develop skin cancer — and that risk increases with age. It’s the most common form of cancer in the United States overall, affecting more than 3 million individuals each year in the United States alone. Whether you’re dealing with melanoma or one of the more common forms of the disease, being diagnosed with skin cancer can be a frightening experience.

For many, one question is the first to spring to mind: What is the survival rate for skin cancer? The answer varies, but early detection will generally ensure a five-year survival rate of over 98% for melanoma and 99%-100% for common skin cancers. Get informed on skin cancer statistics and survival rates with GentleCure.

Melanoma Skin Cancer Survival Rate

Among the different types of skin cancer, melanoma is one of the less commonly diagnosed. However, it is one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer if left untreated. With the ability to spread rapidly to other parts of the body (metastasize), melanoma can become life-threatening in only six weeks.

The skin cancer survival rate for melanoma is dependent on the stage at the time of diagnosis, with the following statistics reported by the Melanoma Research Alliance:

  • Stage 0, I, and II – Five-year survival rate of 98.4% 
  • Stage III – Five-year survival rate of 63.6%
  • Stage IV – Five-year survival rate of 22.5%

The differences in melanoma skin cancer life expectancy with each stage serve as evidence of the importance of annual skin cancer screenings and the importance of seeking treatment promptly following a diagnosis. The good news, according to research from the American Cancer Society, is that from 2011 to 2020, melanoma mortality rates dropped by about 5% per year in adults younger than 50 and by about 3% per year in adults 50 and older.

Skin Cancer Survival Rate: Common Forms of the Disease

Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer are the most frequently diagnosed forms of skin cancer. Fortunately, they’re also the most treatable and curable. The prognosis is excellent for people who have basal cell skin cancer that was caught early and hasn’t spread. These cases have a survival rate of up to 100%. The survival rate for squamous cell skin cancer is also extremely high when the cancer is detected early. The five-year survival rate in those cases is about 99%.

This statistic further underscores the importance of scheduling yearly skin cancer screenings with a licensed dermatologist, especially if you’re someone who is at a higher risk of developing skin cancer or who has been diagnosed in the past. The earlier the skin cancer is detected, the sooner you can get treated, and the higher your likelihood of being cured. 

Learn More About the Surgery-Free Cure for Common Skin Cancers

If you were diagnosed with basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, call us today to learn more about GentleCure™ — a surgery-free skin cancer treatment. GentleCure™ uses calibrated, targeted radiotherapy to destroy cancerous skin cells without leaving a scar or impacting your day-to-day life. We’ll cover how this treatment works and what to expect during an appointment.

How would you rate this page?

For more information on skin cancer treatment options, speak with a Skin Cancer Information Specialist today.

Help protect and expand insurance coverage for Image-Guided SRT by participating in change.