MRF's 2017 Melanoma Fact Sheet

Melanoma Fact Sheet Melanoma diagnoses are increasing at epidemic rates. You can help make a difference by knowing and sharing the facts about melanoma.


In ages 15-29, melanoma is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer. The incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other group, soaring by 50% since 1980.

Indoor tanning beds are proven to cause cancer and have been classified into the highest cancer risk category by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC). Exposure to tanning beds before age 30 increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma by 75%. Young people who regularly use tanning beds are 8 times more likely to develop melanoma than people who have never use them. These tips can help protect your skin from too much UV exposure: o Seek shade when possible o Cover up with clothing, sunglasses and a wide- brimmed hat Try to avoid being in the sun between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours o o

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Every hour of every day one American dies from melanoma – that’s almost 10,000 people per year. In 2017, over 160,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma. Of these, 87,000 will be diagnosed with invasive (Stage I, II, III or IV) melanoma and another 74,000 will be diagnosed with melanoma in situ . Melanoma is not just a skin cancer. It can develop anywhere on the body – eyes, scalp, nails, feet, mouth, etc. Melanoma does not discriminate by age, race or gender. Everyone is at risk. Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25-30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 30- 35.

Approximately 500 American children are diagnosed with melanoma each year.

Today, there are nearly 1 million people living with melanoma in the U.S. The lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 1 in 40 for Caucasians, 1 in 200 for Hispanics and 1 in 1,000 for African Americans. Nearly 90% of melanomas are thought to be caused by exposure to UV light and sunlight. It takes only one blistering sunburn , especially at a young age, to more than double a person’s chance of developing melanoma later in life.

Last Updated: 1/9/17

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