Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in the United States. Although it is considered a highly curable disease, its effects are traumatic and life-altering nonetheless. Presently, skin cancer researchers are engaged in an ever-expanding quest to improve risk management strategies, develop more effective diagnostic methods and treatment options, and uncover the genetic mysteries associated with skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Statistics
Statistical data provides the research community with the information that it needs to appropriately focus its efforts. Skin cancer’s extremely high rates of diagnosis and curability have persuaded researchers to focus heavily on early detection and prevention.
- Skin cancer is diagnosed more than any other cancer in the United States.
- More than one million new cases are diagnosed annually in the U.S.
- Skin cancer is diagnosed more than cancers of the breast, colon, prostate and lung combined.
- 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer over the course of their lifetime.
- In 2004 alone, more than $1 billion in healthcare costs were associated with non-melanoma skin cancer.
- Approximately 90% of non-melanoma skin cancer cases are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
- Only about 23% of a person’s lifetime sun exposure is acquired before the age 18. This fact contradicts popular beliefs about sun exposure and skin damage. Average lifetime UV exposure in the United States, based on a 78-year lifespan, is as follows:
- Age 1-18: 22.73%
- Age 19-40: 46.53
- Age 41-59: 74.7 %
- Age 60-78: 100%
The following organizations are paving the way in skin cancer research. Their results of their efforts include elevated public awareness and increased survivability.
- The Skin Cancer Foundation. 2008. Retrieved on May 6, 2009 from <http://www.skincancer.org/Skin-Cancer-Facts/>.
- American Cancer Society, Inc. Retrieved on May 6, 2009 from <http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_2_7X_Whats_new_in_melanoma_skin_cancer_research_50.asp>.