By Richard Nelson, managing editor, May 01, 2014
This month’s Dermatology World focuses on melanoma — its diagnosis, its treatment, and the cost of new therapies. But how common is melanoma? How many people die from it?
According to data collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program of the National Cancer Institute, melanoma was the fifth most common cancer in the U.S. in 2013, with an estimated 76,690 new cases, behind prostate, breast, lung and bronchus, and colon and rectum cancers. (SEER does not include non-melanoma skin cancers in its rankings; the millions of new cases each year would outrank all other cancers combined.) According to SEER, melanoma accounted for 4.6 percent of new cases and 1.6 percent of cancer deaths last year.
How has incidence risen over the last four decades? According to SEER data, it nearly tripled between 1975 and 2010, as illustrated below. To review more SEER data, visit http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html.