Facts don’t lie, and those that makeup the harsh realities of the damage skin cancers are causing to human life are staggering. Have a look around. But brace yourself – this is not a feel-good, sunshiny topic.

Melanoma Facts

  • One person dies of melanoma every 57 minutes.
  • An estimated 76,100 new cases of invasive melanoma were diagnosed in the US in 2014.
  • Of the seven most common cancers in the US, melanoma is the only one whose incidence is increasing. Between 2000 and 2009, incidence climbed 1.9 percent annually.
  • Melanoma is one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men, along with liver cancer and esophageal cancer.
  • The overall five-year survival rate for patients, whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has spread to regional lymph nodes or other organs, is about 98 percent in the US. The survival rate falls to 62 percent when the disease reaches the lymph nodes, and 16 percent when the disease metastasizes to distant organs.
  • Regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent and the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.

Dangers of Tanning

  • Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a proven human carcinogen.
  • As of September 2, 2014, ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices were reclassified by the FDA from class I (low to moderate risk) to class II (moderate to high risk) devices.
  • Eleven states now prohibit indoor tanning for minors younger than age 18: California, Vermont, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, Washington, Minnesota, Louisiana, Hawaii, and Delaware.
  • Brazil and New South Wales, Australia, have passed complete bans on indoor tanning. As of January 2014, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the UK, Iceland, Italy, Finland and Norway prohibit indoor tanning for youths under age 18.
  • More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the US each year are linked to indoor tanning, including about 245,000 basal cell carcinomas, 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas, and 6,200 melanomas.
  • More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.
  • Of melanoma cases among 18-to-29-year-olds who had tanned indoors, 76 percent were attributable to tanning bed use.

General Skin Cancer Facts

  • Each year in the US, nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer.
  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
  • Treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers increased by nearly 77 percent between 1992 and 2006.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.