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Key Statistics for Melanoma Skin Cancer

Cancer of the skin is by far the most common of all cancers in the United States. 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 2024 are:

  • About 100,640 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 59,170 in men and 41,470 in women).
  • About 8,290 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 5,430 men and 2,860 women).

Changes in the rates of new melanomas vary by age and sex. In people younger than 50, the rates have been stable among women and have declined by about 1% a year in men since the early 2000s. In people ages 50 and older, rates increased in women by about 3% per year but have stayed stable among men.

Melanoma death rates declined rapidly from 2013 to 2017, largely because of advances in treatment. Rates fell by about 6% to 7% per year.

Risk of getting melanoma

Having lighter skin color is a major risk factor for melanoma. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 3% (1 in 33) for White people, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for Black people, and 0.5% (1 in 200) for Hispanic people. But each person’s risk can be affected by a number of 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 66. 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).

For survival statistics, 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 oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Facts & Figures 2024. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2024.

Curiel-Lewandrowski C. Melanoma: Epidemiology and risk factors. UpToDate. 2023. Accessed at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/melanoma-epidemiology-and-risk-factors on September 6, 2023.

National Cancer Institute. Cancer Stat Facts: Melanoma of the Skin. Accessed at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html on September 7, 2023.

National Cancer Institute. SEER*Explorer: An interactive website for SEER cancer statistics [Internet]. Surveillance Research Program; 2023 Apr 19. [updated: 2023 Jun 8]. Accessed at https://seer.cancer.gov/statistics-network/explorer/ on September 7, 2023.

Last Revised: January 17, 2024

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