Melanoma of the Skin

Common Cancers 2015

Compared to other cancers, melanoma is pretty common. These are the estimated amount of new cases to be diagnosed in 2015.

Melanoma of the skin is an increasingly prevalent form of skin cancer, especially in the last 40 years. It can occur anywhere on the skin, and is more common in people with fairer skin tones.

Many more cases are diagnosed in older people, although it is not uncommon for younger people to develop melanoma as well. Women are more likely to develop melanoma on their arms or legs, where men are more likely to develop it on the area from their shoulders to their hips, called the trunk.

Personal health history may play a part in developing the disease, but prolonged exposure to sunlight is a huge factor. Blistering sunburns and tanning beds are two major contributors to developing melanoma, and it often affects both small and large moles. Changes in mole appearance and skin pigmentation are common indicators that melanoma may be present, and it’s dire to get them checked by a doctor. Doctors and nurses can perform a skin exam or a biopsy to confirm the presence of melanoma. Avoiding prolonged sun exposure, using sunscreen and avoiding tanning beds at all costs are easy ways to prevent melanoma.

New Cases v. Deaths

Number of new melanoma cases and number of melanoma-caused deaths per 100,000 people.

Although it is a rather common form of cancer, the 5-year survival rate is surprisingly high. The number of new cases each year has yet to significantly decline, but the death rate each year is significantly less than the rate of diagnosis.

New Cases by Age

The median age of melanoma diagnosis is 63, and the most commonly diagnosed age group is 55-64.

Deaths by Age

The median age of those that die from melanoma is 69, and the highest death rate belongs to the 75-84 age group.

This data came from the National Cancer Institute database.
http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html

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