Melanoma Stats, Facts, and Figures
1% of All Skin Cancer Cases
Melanoma is the least common but the most deadly skin cancer, accounting for only about 1% of all cases, but the vast majority of skin cancer death.1
In 2018, it is estimated that there will be 91,270 new cases of melanoma in the United States and 9,320 deaths from the disease.2
- 55,150 cases of invasive melanoma will occur in males.
- 36,120 cases of invasive melanoma will occur in females.
5 Year Survival Rate Has Increased
During this same time 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 treatment and surgical techniques.5
The mortality rate for melanoma (number of deaths per 100,000 people each year) has increased at a much slower pace and has remained stable over the past 10 years.
Melanoma is the third most common cancer among women ages 20-39 and the second most common cancer in men ages 20-39.7
In the US, melanoma is currently the fifth most common cancer in men and the sixth most common in women of all age groups.2
America’s Highest Risk Population
Caucasian-Americans are 26 times more likely to develop melanoma than African-Americans. Worldwide, Caucasian populations have the highest risk of developing melanoma, and Asian populations have the lowest risk.6
10% of all people with melanoma have a family history of melanoma.
World’s Highest Risk Countries
The world’s highest incidence of melanoma is in Australia and New Zealand (more than twice as high as in North America). This may be due to how close these countries are to the equator, their greatly reduced ozone layer, and their population of mostly fair-skinned people.
Because of Australia’s extensive skin cancer screening program, there has been a decrease in average tumor depth at the time of diagnosis.
Figures From Around the World
About 132,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization.
In some parts of the world, especially among western countries, melanoma is becoming more common every year. In the United States, for example, the percentage of people who develop melanoma has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
The incidence of malignant melanoma in Caucasian populations generally increases with decreasing latitude, with the highest recorded incidence occurring in Australia, where the annual rates of melanoma are 10 and over 20 times the rates in Europe for women and men respectively.
Likelihood of Getting Melanoma
Melanoma is most commonly diagnosed in non-Hispanic whites; 1 per 100,000 in African Americans, 4 per 100,000 in Hispanics, and 26 per 100,000 in non-Hispanic whites.2
Incidence rates are higher in women than in men before the age of 50, but by age 65, rates in men double those in women, and by age 80 they are triple.2
Ten percent of all people with melanoma have a family history of melanoma.
5,990 males and 3,330 females are expected to die in the U.S. of melanoma during 2018.2
Note: All survival rates are estimated averages based on past cases but do not necessarily mean that it may predict your individual survival. Every person and every case is different, and many factors may contribute to survival.
Note: Based on data from 2007-2013.
Note: Based on data from 2007-2013.
Probability of Developing Melanoma of the Skin
|Gender||Birth to 49||50 to 59||60 to 69||70 and Older|
Note: Based on data from 2012-2014.
1. SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) data. seer.cancer.gov.
2. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2018”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2018.
3. Weinstock MA. Epidemiology, Etiology, and Control of Melanoma. Med Health R I. 2001;84(7):234-236.
5. Lancet. 2002;94:1537-1545.
6. Lotze MT, Dallal RM, Kirkwood JM, Flickinger JC. Cutaneous Melanoma. In DeVita VT, Rosenberg SA, Hellman S, eds. Principles and Practice of Oncology, 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott; 2001.
7. Based on data from 2008 - 2012.