By the numbers

Melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers. It is the 5th most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S. and the single most common cancer diagnosis in women ages 25-29.

  • 75 percent: Indoor tanning has been shown to increase the risk of melanoma by up to 75 percent.

  • 1: One person dies of melanoma every hour, every day.

  • 2x: Just one bad sunburn in childhood or adolescence doubles your child’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.

  • 10,000: On average, there are about ten thousand deaths from melanoma each year in the U.S.

  • 11: Since 2007, the FDA has approved eleven new therapies for melanoma.

  • 30: Melanoma research is having an impact on the entire field of oncology: therapies that were first approved for melanoma treatment are now being studied in more than thirty tumor types.


  1. Make wearing sunscreen a daily habit. UV radiation can still damage skin even in the winter and on cloudy days. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 30 to protect against UVA and UVB rays.

  2. Protect children too. Use sun block on kids and babies over 6 months old.

  3. Avoid peak rays. Seek shade during the mid-day sun, when the sun’s rays are most intense.

  4. Wear protective clothing. Protect your whole body with sun-protective clothing, hat and sunglasses.

Voices of survivors

The survival rate for melanoma depends a lot on the stage of the cancer. Below, three women share wise words from their own battles with melanoma.

What was smaller than the head of a pencil eraser is now a four-inch thick scar and a reminder that early detection is crucial.”
Krista Giovacco

Every week I perform skin checks on myself and have had multiple suspicious looking moles removed, one of which was pre-cancerous.”
Caitlyn Scaggs

You have to be your own finder. Know your body, know when it’s changing, and speak up when something doesn’t look right.”
Amanda Greene