Every single hour of every single day someone in the United States dies from melanoma. In 2017, more than 160,000 people in America are anticipated to be diagnosed with melanoma. This includes individuals in Frisco, Texas, and nearby in Dallas, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Little Elm, and others areas in the Lone State.
In fact, research shows that Texas is one of the four leading states with the highest number of melanoma cases in the nation:
- California (CA)
- Florida (FL)
- Texas (TX)
- New York (NY)
Fortunately, melanoma is often easy to detect with proper screening, and is curable in its early stages.
The American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health, Melanoma Research Foundation and others have collected and reported on a number of melanoma facts and statistics, which highlight the dangers of melanoma, the prevalence of it, and the importance of early detection and treatment.
Prevalence of Melanoma
Some melanoma statistics gathered and reported by the American Cancer Society include:
- Out of all cancers, melanoma is the most common.
- Melanoma causes a large number of skin cancer-related deaths, despite it only accounting for one percent of skin cancers.
- Melanoma is more common in white people (up to 20 times more) than African Americans.
- In the past 30 years, melanoma rates have been on the rise.
Other melanoma facts reported by the Melanoma Research Foundation are:
- Melanoma is among the most common cancers diagnosed today in individuals between the ages of 15 and 29 years old.
- Almost one million Americans are living with melanoma.
Risk of Dying from Melanoma
Melanomas have the potential to spread rapidly to the lymph nodes, lymph system, and internal organs. Once it has spread, it is difficult to treat, and can be fatal.
It’s estimated that more than 9,700 individuals will die in 2017 of melanoma (more than 6,300 men and 3,300 women). Furthermore, the Melanoma Research Foundation reports that each year around 10,000 individuals die from the disease. That’s one American every hour each day.
Risks of Getting Melanoma
There are a number of factors that increase your risk of developing melanoma, including:
If you’re an older adult. The average age of diagnosis of melanoma is 63 years old, according to the American Cancer Society. Your risk of getting the disease increases as you age.
After the age of 50, men have a higher rate of developing melanoma than women, and under the age of 50 the reverse is true. That said, adolescents and children do develop melanoma, with it being the most common type of cancer that young adults get under the age of 30 years old, particularly women.
If you’ve used tanning beds or had sunburns. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your risk of developing melanoma increases if you:
- use tanning beds (your risk is increased by 59 percent if you have used tanning beds before you reached the age of 35).
- suffered with over five sunburns that blistered between the age of 15 through 20 (your risk is increased by 80 percent).
- live near the equator.
Younger individuals who use tanning beds on a regular basis are thought to be eight times likely to get the disease than those who don’t ever use them.
Ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure from either artificial or natural sources, like indoor tanning beds and sunlight account, for around 90 percent of the cases of melanoma.
If you had an organ transplant. You have a two to five-fold increase of developing melanoma if you are an organ transplant recipient, according to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
If you have a family history of melanoma. About eight percent of newly diagnosed patients with melanoma have a first-degree relative who have or had the disease.
It’s important to note that this isn’t an exhaustive list of risk factors for developing melanoma. There are other factors, such as the number and type of moles you have, whether or not you have a weakened immune system, and being light-haired, fair-skinned, and freckled that also factor in on your risk. It’s prudent to discuss your individual melanoma risk factors with your physician and dermatologist.
Getting Screened at Rodgers Dermatology for Melanoma
These melanoma facts and statistics are meant not only to inform you of your risks of developing this potentially deadly type of skin cancer, but also highlight that the fact that the disease, if found and treated early, is highly curable.
That’s why, it’s extremely important that you get screened by a dermatologist for melanoma. Our dermatologist, Dr. Timothy Rodgers, MD, FAAD, will screen you for skin cancer, which may include a physical exam, biopsy, and/or dermatoscopy. Just remember, it only takes a single blistering sunburn (particularly when you are younger) to increase your risk of melanoma as an adult.
If you’re over 40 years of age, we recommend that you have an annual skin cancer screening, or more frequently if you have risk factors for developing skin cancer. And, if when examining your own skin monthly, you notice any change in a current mole or the development of a new mole, please call us here at Rodgers Dermatology right away at 972-704-2400.