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Skin Cancer Fact Sheet
American Cancer Society 2003

  • Nearly half of all new cancers are skin cancers.
  • More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year.*
  • About 80 percent of the new skin cancer cases will be basal cell carcinoma, 16 percent are squamous cell carcinoma, and 4 percent are melanoma.
  • Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma have a better than 95 percent cure rate if detected and treated early.
  • An estimated 9,800 people will die of skin cancer this year, 7,600 from melanoma and 2,200 from other skin cancers.*
  • There will be about 91,900 new cases of melanoma in 2003 - 37,700 in situ (noninvasive) and 54,200 invasive (29,900 men and 24,300 women).* This is a 4 percent increase in new cases of melanoma from 2002.
  • In 2003, at current rates one in 39 Americans have a lifetime risk of developing melanoma and one in 67 Americans have a lifetime risk of developing invasive melanoma.
  • One person dies of melanoma every hour. In 2003, 7,600 deaths will be attributed to melanoma - 4,700 men and 2,900 women.*
  • Older Caucasian males have the highest mortality rates from melanoma.
  • The incidence of melanoma more than tripled among Caucasians between 1980 and 2003.
  • More than 77 percent of skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.
  • Melanoma is more common than any non-skin cancer among women between 25 and 29 years old.
  • Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and the seventh most common cancer in women.* **

*Source: American Cancer Society's 2003 Facts & Figures

**Excluding basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which together are the most common cancers in both sexes.

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