Statistics at a Glance

At a Glance

Estimated New Cases in 2018 91,270

% of All New Cancer Cases 5.3%

Estimated Deaths in 2018 9,320

% of All Cancer Deaths 1.5%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

91.8% 2008-2014
Year New Cases - SEER 9 New Cases - SEER 13 Deaths - U.S. Percent Surviving 5 Years - SEER 9
1975 7.9 - 2.1 81.8%
1976 8.2 - 2.2 82.4%
1977 8.9 - 2.3 81.6%
1978 8.9 - 2.3 81.7%
1979 9.5 - 2.4 82.5%
1980 10.5 - 2.3 83.9%
1981 11.1 - 2.4 80.3%
1982 11.2 - 2.5 83.9%
1983 11.1 - 2.5 84.1%
1984 11.4 - 2.5 85.2%
1985 12.8 - 2.6 86.2%
1986 13.3 - 2.6 88.2%
1987 13.7 - 2.6 87.6%
1988 12.9 - 2.6 89.0%
1989 13.7 - 2.7 87.7%
1990 13.9 - 2.8 89.3%
1991 14.6 - 2.7 89.7%
1992 14.8 14.1 2.7 88.7%
1993 14.6 13.8 2.7 90.2%
1994 15.7 14.8 2.7 88.8%
1995 16.5 15.9 2.7 90.2%
1996 17.4 16.6 2.8 92.3%
1997 17.8 16.8 2.7 89.8%
1998 17.9 16.8 2.8 90.9%
1999 18.4 17.4 2.6 92.4%
2000 19.0 17.7 2.7 92.1%
2001 19.7 18.5 2.7 92.1%
2002 19.4 18.0 2.6 92.9%
2003 19.6 18.0 2.7 93.3%
2004 20.7 19.0 2.7 93.1%
2005 22.5 20.4 2.8 93.3%
2006 22.2 20.1 2.7 93.0%
2007 21.9 20.2 2.7 93.4%
2008 23.2 21.1 2.7 93.5%
2009 23.2 20.7 2.8 93.2%
2010 23.9 21.4 2.7 93.7%
2011 23.0 20.5 2.7 -
2012 23.1 20.8 2.7 -
2013 24.2 21.8 2.7 -
2014 25.4 22.9 2.6 -
2015 25.8 23.0 2.4 -

Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of melanoma of the skin was 22.8 per 100,000 men and women per year. The number of deaths was 2.6 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2011-2015 cases and deaths.

Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 2.3 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma of the skin at some point during their lifetime, based on 2013-2015 data.

Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2015, there were an estimated 1,222,023 people living with melanoma of the skin in the United States.

Survival Statistics

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.

91.8%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

91.8%

Based on data from SEER 18 2008-2014. Gray figures represent those who have died from melanoma of the skin. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

Additional Information

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, 83.6% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year survival for localized melanoma of the skin is 98.4%.

Percent of Cases & 5-Year Relative Survival by Stage at Diagnosis: Melanoma of the Skin
Stage Percent of Cases 5-Year Relative Survival
Localized
Confined to Primary Site
84% 98.4%
Regional
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
9% 63.6%
Distant
Cancer has Metastasized
4% 22.5%
Unknown
Unstaged
4% 83.7%

SEER 18 2008-2014, All Races, Both Sexes by SEER Summary Stage 2000

Additional Information

Number of New Cases and Deaths

How Common Is This Cancer?

Compared to other cancers, melanoma of the skin is fairly common.

Rank Common Types of Cancer Estimated New
Cases 2018
Estimated
Deaths 2018
1. Breast Cancer (Female) 266,120 40,920
2. Lung and Bronchus Cancer 234,030 154,050
3. Prostate Cancer 164,690 29,430
4. Colorectal Cancer 140,250 50,630
5. Melanoma of the Skin 91,270 9,320
6. Bladder Cancer 81,190 17,240
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 74,680 19,910
8. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 65,340 14,970
9. Uterine Cancer 63,230 11,350
10. Leukemia 60,300 24,370

Melanoma of the skin represents 5.3% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

5.3%

In 2018, it is estimated that there will be 91,270 new cases of melanoma of the skin and an estimated 9,320 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 22.8 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2011-2015 cases.

Number of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Melanoma of the Skin
Males
All Races 29.8
White 35.2
Black 1.1
Asian/Pacific Islander 1.7
American Indian/Alaska Native 5.0
Hispanic 5.1
Non-Hispanic 33.9
Females
All Races 17.7
White 21.5
Black 1.0
Asian/Pacific Islander 1.3
American Indian/Alaska Native 5.5
Hispanic 4.8
Non-Hispanic 20.4

SEER 18 2011-2015, Age-Adjusted

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Melanoma of the Skin
Age Range Percent of New Cases
<20 0.4%
20-34 5.5%
35-44 7.6%
45-54 15.1%
55-64 22.4%
65-74 23.5%
75-84 17.1%
>84 8.3%

Melanoma of the skin is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 65-74.

Median Age
At Diagnosis

64

SEER 18 2011-2015, All Races, Both Sexes

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 2.6 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2011-2015 deaths.

Number of Deaths per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Melanoma of the Skin
Males
All Races 3.9
White 4.5
Black 0.5
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.4
American Indian/Alaska Native 1.1
Hispanic 1.0
Non-Hispanic 4.2
Females
All Races 1.6
White 1.9
Black 0.3
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.3
American Indian/Alaska Native 0.5
Hispanic 0.6
Non-Hispanic 1.7

U.S. 2011-2015, Age-Adjusted

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Melanoma of the Skin
Age Range Percent of Deaths
<20 0.1%
20-34 1.9%
35-44 4.5%
45-54 10.6%
55-64 19.7%
65-74 23.1%
75-84 24.1%
>84 15.9%

The percent of melanoma of the skin deaths is highest among people aged 75-84.

Median Age
At Death

70

U.S. 2011-2015, All Races, Both Sexes

Trends in Rates

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 1.5% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been falling on average 1.2% each year over 2006-2015. 5-year survival trends are shown below.

More About This Cancer

Melanoma

Figure: Melanoma Anatomy

Figure: Anatomy of the skin, showing the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. Melanocytes are in the layer of basal cells at the deepest part of the epidermis.

Did You Know? Video Series

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.

Additional Information

More Information

Here are some resources for learning more about melanoma of the skin.

References

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:

Noone AM, Howlader N, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2015, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2015/, based on November 2017 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2018.

Suggested Citation

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 Stat Facts: Melanoma of the Skin. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html

These stat facts focus on population statistics that are based on the U.S. 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 these stat facts 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. These stat facts do not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although links are provided to information in many of these areas.