Advertisement

Why skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

Skin cancer is by far the most prevalent cancer in the United States, with more than one million new cases diagnosed this year, and that number is rising by almost 5 percent annually. That accounts for half of all new cancer cases each year. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma is the deadliest form, accounting for more than 75 percent of skin cancer deaths. The single biggest risk factor for most skin cancers is sun exposure, which causes 90 percent of them. The fact that these skin cancer numbers are raising means that something is obviously wrong. We're not getting the message somehow - about wearing sunscreen, about getting skin exams, about protecting ourselves from a cancer that is one of the most preventable. Skin cancers that are caught early are 98 to 100 percent curable, yet most adults have never been checked for skin cancer by a dermatologist. In a 2004 survey of 190 college students, less than 6 percent had ever checked their entire body for skin cancer. The National Cancer Institute reports that only 56 percent of adults say they protect themselves from the sun.

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

More About this Book

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

Continue Learning about Skin Cancers

3 Myths About Sunshine
3 Myths About Sunshine
Sunlight has a profound effect on our bodies, skin and even our mood. And while there's no shortage of information on how to stay safe in the sun, som...
Read More
What is skin cancer?
National Alliance for Hispanic HealthNational Alliance for Hispanic Health
Skin cancer is when some skin cells reproduce and grow abnormally, and have the ability to spread to...
More Answers
Simple Ways to Spot Skin Cancer
Simple Ways to Spot Skin CancerSimple Ways to Spot Skin CancerSimple Ways to Spot Skin CancerSimple Ways to Spot Skin Cancer
Do you know the signs and symptoms of melanoma? Learn how to spot them at home using everyday items.
Start Slideshow
Prevent Skin Cancer With Lemon Zest
Prevent Skin Cancer With Lemon Zest

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.