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 2017 are:

  • About 87,110 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 52,170 in men and 34,940 in women).
  • About 9,730 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 6,380 men and 3,350 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 2.5% (1 in 40) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks, and 0.5% (1 in 200) 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).

Also see Survival Rates for Melanoma Skin Cancer by Stage.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: May 19, 2016 Last Revised: January 6, 2017

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