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Skin Cancer: Quick Facts

Skin cancer is a serious public health concern.

Every year, there are more than 63,000 new cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, resulting in nearly 9,000 deaths.

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with 5 MILLION PEOPLE treated each year.

Treatment for skin cancer costs $8.1 BILLION each year in the United States.

Anyone can get skin cancer. Although those with lighter skin are at higher risk of getting skin cancer, people with darker skin may often be diagnosed with skin cancer at a later stage, making it difficult to treat.

Most skin cancers can be prevented—but we aren’t doing enough.

More than 1 out of every 3 Americans reports getting sunburned each year. Sunburn is a clear sign of overexposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays, a major cause of skin cancer.

More than 400,000 cases of skin cancer, about 6,000 of which are melanomas, are estimated to be related to indoor tanning in the U.S. each year.

Tanned skin is damaged skin, yet nearly 1 out of every 3 young white women engages in indoor tanning each year.

Choose sun protection strategies that work:

  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, and other protective clothing, seek shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Use broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15+ to protect any exposed skin. Remember that sunscreen is most effective when used in combination with other methods, and when reapplied as directed.

People from every sector of society have a role to play to reverse the rising tide of skin cancer. Government, business, health, education, community, nonprofit, and faith-based sectors are all essential partners in this effort.

For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin