SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Melanoma of the Skin
Statistics at a GlanceShow More
At a Glance
- Estimated New Cases in 2015 73,870
- Estimated Deaths in 2015 9,940
Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of melanoma of the skin was 21.6 per 100,000 men and women per year. The number of deaths was 2.7 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2008-2012 cases and deaths.
Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 2.1 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin at some point during their lifetime, based on 2010-2012 data.
Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2012, there were an estimated 996,587 people living with melanoma of the skin in the United States.
Survival StatisticsShow More
How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Melanoma of the Skin?
Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.
Based on data from SEER 18 2005-2011. Gray figures represent those who have died from melanoma of the skin. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.
Survival by Stage
Cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of a cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier melanoma of the skin is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For melanoma of the skin, 84.0% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year survival for localized melanoma of the skin is 98.3%.
- Localized (84%)
Confined to Primary Site
- Regional (9%)
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
- Distant (4%)
Cancer Has Metastasized
- Unknown (3%)
SEER 18 2005-2011, All Races, Both Sexes by SEER Summary Stage 2000
Number of New Cases and DeathsShow More
How Common Is This Cancer?
Compared to other cancers, melanoma of the skin is fairly common.
|Common Types of Cancer||Estimated New
|1.||Breast Cancer (Female)||231,840||40,290|
|2.||Lung and Bronchus Cancer||221,200||158,040|
|4.||Colon and Rectum Cancer||132,700||49,700|
|6.||Melanoma of the Skin||73,870||9,940|
|9.||Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer||61,560||14,080|
Melanoma of the skin represents 4.5% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
In 2015, it is estimated that there will be 73,870 new cases of melanoma of the skin and an estimated 9,940 people will die of this disease.
Who Gets This Cancer?
Melanoma is more common in men than women and among individuals of fair complexion and those who have been exposed to natural or artificial sunlight (such as tanning beds) over long periods of time. There are more new cases among whites than any other racial/ethnic group. The number of new cases of melanoma of the skin was 21.6 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2008-2012 cases.
Melanoma of the skin is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 55-64.
SEER 18 2008-2012, All Races, Both Sexes
- All Races
- Asian /
- American Indian /
SEER 18 2008-2012, Age-Adjusted
Who Dies From This Cancer?
For melanoma of the skin, death rates are higher among the middle-aged and elderly. The number of deaths was 2.7 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2008-2012 deaths.
The percent of melanoma of the skin deaths is highest among people aged 75-84.
U.S. 2008-2012, All Races, Both Sexes
- All Races
- Asian /
- American Indian /
U.S. 2008-2012, Age-Adjusted
Trends in RatesShow More
Changes Over Time
Keeping track of the number of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.
Using statistical models for analysis, rates for new melanoma of the skin cases have been rising on average 1.4% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been stable over 2002-2012. 5-year survival trends are shown below the figure.
|5-Year Relative Survival||81.8%||83.9%||86.1%||89.2%||90.1%||92.3%||93.2%||93.2%|
SEER 9 Incidence & U.S. Mortality 1975-2012, All Races, Both Sexes. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
More About This CancerShow More
Skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, but it is most common in skin that is often exposed to sunlight, such as the face, neck, hands, and arms. There are different types of cancer that start in the skin.
Melanoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the skin cells called melanocytes (cells that color the skin). Melanocytes are found throughout the lower part of the epidermis. They make melanin, the pigment that gives skin its natural color.
Here are some resources for learning more about melanoma of the skin.
- More about risk factors for melanoma
- More about symptoms and diagnosis of melanoma
- More about treatment options for melanoma
- More about clinical trials
- More about cancer prevention
All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within:
Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Garshell J, Miller D, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z,Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2012, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2012/, based on November 2014 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2015.
All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.
SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Melanoma of the Skin. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html
This factsheet focuses on population statistics that are based on the US population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer Profiles.
The statistics presented in this factsheet are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In some cases, different year spans may be used. Estimates for the current year are based on past data.
Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. This factsheet does not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although it provides links to information in many of these areas.