Read the Cancer Facts & Figures 2021, for the latest estimates, information and statistics for deaths related to cancer.
Rates of skin cancer in the US are rising, even though most cases are preventable because they’re related to sun exposure and indoor tanning. A study in the International Journal of Cancer found that 91% of all melanomas in the US were linked with ultraviolet (UV) radiation—mostly due to sun exposure. That rate was even higher among non-Hispanic whites, at 94%.
It’s true that people with darker skin have a lower risk of melanoma. But as a recent study showed, it’s also true that non-Hispanic Black Americans are more likely to have lower survival rates when they are diagnosed. That’s partly because compared with non-Hispanic whites, people with darker skin are more often diagnosed with later-stage melanoma (after it’s spread). It’s also because the most common type of melanoma among non-Hispanic Blacks—called acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM)—has a lower survival rate.
The viruses, fungi, and bacteria on your skin could provide clues for skin cancer development and treatment.