Saturday, February 15, 2014

It's JUST Skin Cancer

Interestingly, even I was kind of of the thought that skin cancer was just something that you had cut out and then you moved on and never really had to deal with it again. Unfortunately this couldn't be further from the truth. Here are some statistics about Malignant Melanoma, my particular brand of skin cancer.

From 1970 to 2009, the incidence of melanoma increased by 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men.

One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 57 minutes).

An estimated 76,690 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the US in 2013.

An estimated 9,480 people will die of melanoma in 2013.

Melanoma accounts for less than five percent of skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths.

Of the seven most common cancers in the US, melanoma is the only one whose incidence is increasing. Between 2000 and 2009, incidence climbed 1.9 percent annually.

1 in 50 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin during their lifetime.

In 2009, there were approximately 876,344 men and women alive in the U.S. with a history of melanoma.

About 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Melanoma is one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men, along with liver cancer and esophageal cancer.

Survivors of melanoma are about nine times as likely as the general population to develop a new melanoma.

The vast majority of mutations found in melanoma are caused by ultraviolet radiation.

Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old.

The overall 5-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has spread to regional lymph nodes or other organs, is about 98 percent in the US. The survival rate falls to 62 percent when the disease reaches the lymph nodes, and 15 percent when the disease metastasizes to distant organs.

A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.

One or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than double a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.

Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent and the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.


Young men account for 40 percent of melanoma cases, but more than 60 percent of melanoma deaths.

From ages 15-39, men are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than women in the same age group.

An estimated 45,060 new cases of invasive melanoma in men and 31,630 in women will be diagnosed in the US in 2013.

An estimated 6,280 men and 3,200 women in the US will die from melanoma in 2013.

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer for males and seventh most common for females.

Five percent of all cancers in men are melanomas; four percent of all cancers in women are melanomas.

Up until age 40, significantly more women develop melanoma than men (1 in 391 women vs. 1 in 691 men). After age 40, significantly more men develop melanoma than women. Overall, one in 35 men and one in 54 women will develop melanoma in their lifetimes.

Women aged 39 and under have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast cancer.

The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.

Caucasian men over age 65 have had an 5.1 percent annual increase in melanoma incidence since 1975, the highest annual increase of any gender or age group.

The number of women under age 40 diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma has more than doubled in the last 30 years; the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma among women under age 40 has increased almost 700 percent.

Adults over age 40, especially men, have the highest annual exposure to UV.


In adults 65 or older, melanoma treatment costs total about $249 million annually. About 40 percent of the annual cost for melanoma goes to treating stage IV (advanced) cancers, though they account for only three percent of melanomas.43

The estimated cost of treating melanoma in 2010 was $2.36 billion.49


Cancer is cancer and it affects all of us. None of us are please consider having a skin check done. It could just save your life.

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