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Skin Cancer Statistics

New cases of skin cancer are on the rise in the United States and health officials are scrambling to figure out why.  Over 1 million cases of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are expected to occur annually.  The most potentially deadly form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, is going to appear in some 60,000 Americans this year.  Melanoma carcinoma is the most frequently occurring cancer in people aged 25 to 29 years of age.

The American Cancer Society has said that this year there will be some 10,600 deaths from skin cancer.  About 7,800 of those deaths will occur from melanoma and 2,800 from other skin cancer types.

Malignant melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, causing some two thirds of all skin cancer related deaths.  Melanoma can be a rapidly spreading cancer and can develop other organs in the body to get the disease as well.  The skin cancer statistics for recovery from melanoma are very promising if the disease is caught early on.  Melanoma diagnoses that are made after the cancer has spread usually turn out to be serious problems, however.

Skin cancer statistics for the 5-year survival rate for patients having localized melanoma is a heartening 98%.  Further progression of melanoma shows survival rates at 60% for regional melanoma and 14% for the most serious stage: distant stage melanoma.  Most melanoma carcinoma is detected at the localized stage and accounts for about 83% of melanoma diagnosis.

Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are the most common skin cancer types.  Their cure rate is just over 90% for cases that are detected early.  Basal cell skin cancer is the most common type of skin cancer.  BCC skin cancer statistics show that some 800,000 Americans are affected with the cancer each year.  Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 200,000 cases of total skin cancer diagnoses.  These two types of skin cancers are not usually fast spreading, and do not typically affect other internal organs.

Skin cancer statistics show that the disease appears most frequently on persons who have lighter skin tones.  In addition, people with light colored hair, and who have blue, green, or gray eyes, are at a higher risk for developing skin cancer. 

The highest risk factor for skin cancer comes from overexposure to the sun and to harmful UV radiation.  The best statistic for skin cancer shows that the rate of skin cancer decreases in a direct proportion to less sun exposure.  If sun exposure is unavoidable due to work or some other reason, a highly protective sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 is recommended.