Facts & Statistics

2024 Melanoma Facts & Statistics

Invasive melanoma accounts for 1% of all skin cancer cases. It’s the least common but deadliest skin cancer. In 2024 in the United States, it is estimated that:

  • There will be 200,340 cases of melanoma diagnosed. Of those, 99,700 cases will be noninvasive (in situ) and 100,640 cases will be invasive. Of the invasive cases,
    • 59,170 cases will occur in men.
    • 41,470 cases will occur in women.1
  • There will be 8290 deaths from the disease.
    • 5430 will be men.
    • 2,860 will be women.1

For comparison:

  • The 2023 estimates were for 186,680 new cases of melanoma diagnosed (89,070 noninvasive and 97,610 invasive) and 7,990 deaths from the disease.2
  • The 2022 estimates were for 197,700 new cases of melanoma diagnosed (97,920 noninvasive and 99,780 cases invasive) and 7,650 deaths from the disease.3
  • The 2021 estimates were for 207,390 new cases of melanoma diagnosed (101,280 noninvasive and 106,110 invasive) and 7,180 deaths from the disease.4

Risk, Prevalence, and Incidence

Anyone, regardless of skin tone, can develop melanoma, but not all Americans are at equal risk of developing melanoma:

  • A family history of melanoma, along with the presence of more than 50 moles, increases the risk of developing melanoma.1 Having more than 100 moles increases the risk of developing melanoma by seven-fold.5
  • Inheriting a fair complexion, light skin tone prone to freckling, and light-colored eyes are significant risk factors for melanoma.6
  • Five to ten percent of all people with melanoma have a family history of melanoma.7,8
  • Non-Hispanic Whites have an incidence rate 34 times higher than non-Hispanic Black and Asian/Pacific Islander populations, seven times higher than Hispanics and three times higher than American Indians/Alaska Natives.9,10

Melanoma incidence has risen steadily in past years:

  • In the past 15 years, the number of new invasive melanomas diagnosed annually increased by 46%.1,11
  • In the past ten years, the number of new invasive melanomas diagnosed annually increased by 32%.1,12
  • In the past five years, the number of new invasive melanomas diagnosed annually increased by 16%.1,13
  • The number of invasive melanomas diagnosed in the US in 2007 was only 59,944, whereas in 2024 the number is estimated to be over 100,000. 1,14

The incidence of melanoma in men and women is different at different ages: 

  • Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer among adult men and women.1
  • Before the age of 50, incidence rates are higher in women than in men. By age 65, rates in men double those in women, and by age 80 rates are triple.15
  • Melanoma is the third most common cancer among men and women aged 20-39.15

Children, teens, and young adults develop melanoma, but fortunately not at the same rate as adults and, especially in young children, for different reasons:

  • In the U.S., fewer than 300 cases of melanoma are diagnosed each year among children and young adults younger than 19 years.16,17
  • Pediatric melanoma is a rare disease, with females significantly more likely than males to be diagnosed.16
  • What causes melanoma in young children is different from adults. Some cases arise from a giant, inherited, hairy mole present at birth, not exposure to UV radiation.18,19
  • Melanoma is the second most common cancer in those 15-29 years old.20 The high rate in this young population is thought to be related to UV damage from childhood sunburns and indoor tanning.

Melanoma is not a prevalent cancer:

  • In the U.S. there were 1,413,976 people living with melanoma in 2020.21
  • Melanoma represents 5% of all new cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S.21
  • Each day 267 cases of invasive melanoma are diagnosed in the U.S., which means 11 individuals learn they have melanoma every hour.1

Indoor and Outdoor Tanning

The link between melanoma and sun—especially sunburn—is abundantly clear:

  • The vast majority of melanomas are caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun.22
  • Your risk for melanoma doubles if you’ve had more than five sunburns.23
  • One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles your chances of developing melanoma later in life.24

The link between melanoma and indoor tanning is also devastatingly clear:

  • The International Agency of Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization, has declared ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices as carcinogenic agents.25 These devices were elevated to the highest cancer risk category, which includes other carcinogens such as radon, tobacco, and asbestos.25
  • Using indoor tanning beds and other indoor devices before the age of 35 substantially increases your risk of melanoma, and that risk increases with each subsequent use.26
  • More people develop skin cancer because of indoor tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking. 27
  • Women younger than 30 are six times more likely to develop melanoma if they tan indoors. At all ages, the more women tan indoors, the higher their risk of developing melanoma.28
  • Approximately 7.8 million adult women and 1.9 million adult men in the United States tan indoors.29
  • Almost 36% of American adults, 55% of college students, and 19% of teens have reported using a tanning device in their lifetime. 29
  • White females, primarily between the ages of 15 and 29, represented approximately 74% of indoor tanning customers in a 12-month study.27
  • Research indicates that more than half of indoor tanners (52.5%) start tanning before the age of 21.30
  • More than 44% of those who started tanning before age 16 reported they did so with a family member. More than 49% of those who started tanning with a family member did so with their mother.31

Survival & Death Rates

There has been a significant rise in overall five-year survival in patients with melanoma over the last decade. This rise in survival is likely due to improved treatments that became available beginning in 2011.

  • 5,420 males and 2,570 females in the U.S. will succumb to melanoma during 2023.21
  • Five-year relative survival rates, based on data from 2013-2019:
    • For all stages = 93.5%
    • Local (Stages I and II) = 99.6%
    • Regional (Stage III) = 73.9%
    • Distant (Stage IV) = 35.1%21
  • Survival rates for White Americans and Black Americans, based on data from 2012-2018:
    • White = 94%
    • Black = 70%
    • All races = 94%2
  • Each week in 2023, nearly 154 individuals succumbed to melanoma in the U.S., which means 22 people died every day and one person died every 65.8 minutes.2
  • From 2011 to 2020, the death rate for melanoma declined rapidly by 5% per year in adults younger than 50 years of age, and by 3% per year in those over 50. 2

1. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2024”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2024.
2. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2023”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2023.
3. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2022”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2022.
4. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2021”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2021.
5. Gandini S, Sera F, Cattaruzza MS, et al. Meta-analysis of risk factors for cutaneous melanoma: I. Common and atypical naevi. Eur. J. Cancer. 2005;41:28–44. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2004.10.015.
6. Nordlund JJ, Lerner AB. On the causes of melanomas. Am J Pathol. 1977;89(2):443-8.
7. Greene MH, Fraumeni JF. In: The hereditary variant of familial melanoma. Clarh WH, Goldman LI, Mastrangelo MJ, editor. Human Malignant Melanoma, Grune and Stratton, New York;1979.
8. Debniak T. Familial malignant melanoma – overview. Hered Cancer Clin Pract. 2004;2(3):123-9. doi: 10.1186/1897-4287-2-3-123.
9. Townsend JS, Melkonian SC, Jim MA, et al. Melanoma Incidence Rates Among Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native Individuals, 1999-2019. JAMA Dermatol. 2024;160(2):148-155. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2023.5226.
10. Brunsgaard EK, Wu YP, Grossman D. Melanoma in skin of color: Part I. Epidemiology and clinical presentation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2023;89(3):445-456. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2022.04.056.
11. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2009”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2009.
12. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2014”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2014.
13. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2019”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2019.
14. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2007”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2007.
15. American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts and Figures 2020”. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2020.
16. NCCR*Explorer: An interactive website for NCCR cancer statistics. National Cancer Institute; 2023 Sep 7. Updated: 2023 Sep 8; Accessed: 2024 Mar 1. https://nccrexplorer.ccdi.cancer.gov.
17. United States Census Bureau: Measuring America’s People, Places, and Economy. Updated: 2023 Sep 21; Accessed: 2024 Mar 1. https://www.census.gov/.
18. Ceballos PI, Ruiz-Maldonado R, Mihm MC. Melanoma in Children. N Engl J Med. 1995;332(10):656-62. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199503093321007.
19. Pappo AS, McPherson V, Pan H et al. A prospective, comprehensive registry that integrates the molecular analysis of pediatric and adolescent melanocytic lesions. Cancer. 2021;127(20):3825-3831. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33750.
20. Childhood cancer by the ICCC. In: Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al., eds.: SEER Cancer Statistics Review (CSR) 1975-2014. Bethesda, Md: National Cancer Institute, Section 29.
21. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Explorer: An interactive website for SEER cancer statistics. Surveillance Research Program, National Cancer Institute; 2023 Apr 19. Accessed: 2023 Nov 28. Updated: 2023 Nov 16. https://seer.cancer.gov/statistics-network/explorer/.
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23. Pfahlberg A, Kölmel KF, Gefeller O. Timing of excessive ultraviolet radiation and melanoma: epidemiology does not support the existence of a critical period of high susceptibility to solar ultraviolet radiation-induced melanoma. Br J Dermatol 2001; 144:3:471-475.
24. Lew RA, Sober AJ, Cook N, et al. Sun exposure habits in patients with cutaneous melanoma: a case study. J Dermatol Surg Onc 1983; 12:981-6.
25. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). IARC Monographs on the Identification of Carcinogenic Hazards to Humans. Updated: 2024 Mar 1. Accessed: 2024 Mar 1. https://monographs.iarc.who.int/list-of-classifications/
26. Doré JF, Chignol MC. Tanning salons and skin cancer. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2012;11(1):30-7. doi: 10.1039/c1pp05186e.
27. Wehner MR, Chren M, Nameth D et al. International prevalence of indoor tanning: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(4):390-400. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.6896.
28. Lazovich D, Vogel RI, Weinstock MA et al. Association Between Indoor Tanning and Melanoma in Younger Men and Women. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(3):268-75.doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.2938.
29. Guy GP, Berkowitz Z, Holman D and Hartman A. Recent Changes in the Prevalence and Factors Associated With Frequency of Indoor Tanning Among U.S. Adults. JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(11):1256-9. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.1568.
30. NAACCR Fast Stats: An interactive tool for quick access to key NAACCR cancer statistics. North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. http://www.naaccr.org/.
31. Guy GP, Zhang Y, Ekwueme DU et al. The potential impact of reducing indoor tanning on melanoma prevention and treatment costs in the United States: An economic analysis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017; 76(2): 226–233. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.09.029.