Key Statistics for Melanoma Skin Cancer
Cancer of the skin is by far the most common of all cancers. Melanoma accounts for only about 1% of skin cancers but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths.
How common is melanoma?
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for melanoma in the United States for 2019 are:
- About 96,480 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 57,220 in men and 39,260 in women).
- About 7,230 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 4,740 men and 2,490 women).
The rates of melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years.
Risk of getting melanoma
Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 2.6% (1 in 38) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks, and 0.58% (1 in 172) for Hispanics. The risk for each person can be affected by a number of different factors, which are described in Risk Factors for Melanoma Skin Cancer.
The risk of melanoma increases as people age. The average age of people when it is diagnosed is 63. But melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it’s one of the most common cancers in young adults (especially young women).
Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.
American Cancer Society. Facts & Figures 2019. American Cancer Society. Atlanta, Ga. 2019.
Last Medical Review: May 19, 2016 Last Revised: January 4, 2018