About Melanoma

Melanoma is the Most Deadly Skin Cancer

Melanoma accounts for about 1% of all skin cancer cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths.Although melanoma occurs most often on the skin, it can develop in the eye or the lining of the nose, mouth, or genitals.

Learn about the types of melanoma

Melanoma Affects People of All Ages

  • Melanoma is the third most common cancer among women aged 20-39 years and the second most common cancer in men aged 20-39 years.2

A Growing Concern

  • The increase of melanoma has risen rapidly over the past 30.
  • From 2006 to 2015, the rate increased by 3% per year among men and women ages 50 and older.3
  • However, it did stabilize among men and women younger than age 50.3
Learn more melanoma statistics

5 Year Survival Rate Has Increased

During this same period, there has been a significant rise in overall 5-year survival in patients with melanoma. This may be due to earlier diagnosis, when tumors are still at a thinner depth, as well as improved surgical techniques and treatments.

Treatment and Survival

  • Treatments are available for all people with melanoma.
  • Melanoma can quickly spread to other parts of the body, so it is important to detect and treat melanoma in its earliest stages.
  • When melanoma is detected and treated in its early stages, the chances for long-term, disease-free survival are excellent.
  • For localized melanoma (84% of all cases), for which the 5-year survival rate is approximately 98%.3


1. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2016”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2019.
2. Based on data from 2008 - 2012.
3. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2016”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2019.

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