Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

Fast Facts About Skin Cancer and Melanoma

  • More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year.

  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime.

  • There will be about 108,230 new cases of melanoma in 2007 — 48,290 in situ (noninvasive) and 59,940 invasive (33,910 men and 26,030 women).

  • In 2007, at current rates, a person has a one in 33 chance of developing melanoma (both in situ and invasive). The risk of developing invasive melanoma is one in 63.
    Invasive melanoma is the sixth most common cancer in men and women.

  • Melanoma is the second most common cancer in women aged 20-29.5

  • One American dies of melanoma almost every hour (every 65 minutes). In 2007, 8,110 deaths will be attributed to melanoma — 5,220 men and 2,890 women.6 Older Caucasian males have the highest mortality rates from melanoma.

  • An estimated 10,850 people will die of skin cancer this year, 8,110 from melanoma and 2,740 from other skin cancers.

  • The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 60,000 people a year worldwide die from too much sun, mostly from malignant skin cancer. Of these deaths, 48,000 are from melanoma, and 12,000 are from other skin cancers. About 90 percent of these cancers are caused by ultraviolet light from the sun.

  • The incidence of melanoma has increased 690 percent from 1950 to 2001, and the overall mortality rate increased 165 percent during this same period.

  • More than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.

  • Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma have a better than 95 percent five-year cure rate if detected and treated early.

  • The five year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads is 99 percent.

  • Between 1996 and 2002, the five year survival rate for melanomas detected at all stages increased to 92 percent from 82 percent between 1975 and 1977.

  • In 2004, the total direct cost associated with the treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer was $1.5 billion. Of that, $1.2 billion is attributed to care received in physician offices.14

    Source: American Association Dermatology

    Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month
    American Academy of Dermatology
    930 East Woodfield Road
    Schaumburg, IL 60173
    (888) 462-DERM (462-3376)
    (847) 330-0230
    (847) 330-8907 Fax
    Materials available
    Contact: Jennifer Allyn

1 comment:

Brian said...

The key is to discover suspicious skin lesions at an early stage. Check moles for A)symmetry, for irregular B)orders, for multiple C)olors, for a D)iameter larger than a pencil eraser and for E)volution which is an enlarging or new mole. These are the ABCDE's for self-screening.

It is important to keep checking for new or changing moles, particularly if you are at risk. Those that have had a melanoma removed may be cured but they are at high risk for recurrence of new melanomas. If you have a lot of moles it is very hard (impossible really) to be able to tell if new or changing ones are present though.

DermAlert is an image comparison software program developed through funding from the National Cancer Institute that is inexpensive and lets you use your digital camera in the privacy of your own home to find changing moles over time. Then you can point out the changes to your dermatologist. You can see details and demo at www.dermalert.com