Some people use statistics to try to figure out their chances of getting cancer or of being cured. However, statistics show what happens to large groups of people. Because no two people are alike, statistics can't be used to predict what will happen to a particular person.
Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. Types of skin cancer include the more common nonmelanoma (basal and squamous cell) cancers and the less common melanomas.
Here are some 2011 statistics about melanoma from the American Cancer Society ACS):
About 70,000 people in the US will get melanoma in 2011.
Rates of melanoma have been increasing for at least 30 years.
Melanoma is more often found in white people. They are about 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma than African-Americans. Men are slightly more likely to have melanoma than women are.
Although melanoma rates are highest in older people, melanoma cancers occur in people of all ages. In fact, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in people under age 30.
About 8,800 people will die in 2011 from melanoma.
Here are statistics about nonmelanoma skin cancer from the ACS:
More than 2 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year; most cases are basal cell cancers.
Although most cases occur in older people, the rate of nonmelanoma skin cancer is rising in younger people.
About 2,000 people will die of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the U.S. in 2011.
Many people who die of nonmelanoma skin cancers are elderly and did not have treatment early enough. Other people who die from nonmelanoma skin cancer have immune system problems.
White Americans are much more likely to get skin cancer than African-Americans. People with fair (light-colored) skin that freckles or burns easily are at especially high risk.
Men are about twice as likely as women to develop basal cell skin cancer, and about three times as likely to develop squamous cell cancer.