Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Skin Cancer in America 2018

The True Impact of Skin Cancer

We conducted our second large survey of people who have skin cancer and asked many questions about what it’s like being diagnosed with a type of skin cancer. Here are the highlights of what our community shared with us:

Many shapes and sizes

Skin cancer signs may vary but visible changes on the body were reported for every skin cancer type. There are certainly cases of skin cancer that can develop without any visible signs – so any changes in your health should be discussed with your physician.

skin cancer signs

From head to toe

While skin cancer can develop on areas of the body that are not exposed to the sun, most of the survey respondents listed skin cancer locations on the face and limbs. Non-melanoma (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) was most common on the face while melanoma was most common on legs followed by the arms and the back.

skin cancer locations on the body

Mohs and more

Skin cancer isn’t always something that gets “zapped off” – 100% of respondents had surgery for their skin cancer. There are other skin cancer treatments that can be used in addition to surgery.

skin cancer surgery

Constantly monitoring for recurrence

More than half of respondents have had skin cancer more than once. Melanoma patients were less likely to have skin cancer more than once. While basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are considered less serious, constant monitoring for recurrence is backed by the numbers.

Skin cancer recurrence rates

Is skin cancer really that serious?

The emotional impact of skin cancer is often misunderstood. People needed others to understand that skin cancer is really cancer. Emotional support was reported as the assistance most needed.

skin cancer need for emotional support

Skin cancer is…

When asked “If you could describe Skin Cancer in ONE WORD, what would that one word be?”

skin cancer scary

No matter the type, a skin cancer diagnosis can make a real impact on someone’s life. From dealing with treatment and living with the fear of recurrence, it’s important to people with a skin cancer diagnosis that they are taken seriously and receive the support they deserve.

The Skin Cancer In America 2018 online survey gathered insights from 805 individuals who were diagnosed with at least one type of skin cancer to better understand their diagnosis and treatment, as well as the impact on their lives.


  • Moonmomma
    6 months ago

    I loved reading this article. I love this website so much. I find people who are going through what I am going through and feeling the same way. It’s great to feel validated in your feelings. I like seeing and responding to the polls. Thank you and keep up the great work.

  • slcardon
    10 months ago

    I have no support system. Everyone thinks it is nothing. I left my cancer go 6 years. It is on my chest and huge. I am taking radiation and i am on my 9th session. It is blood red.. It drains and is pussy looking constantly. It is huge in size and getting bigger. It hurts alll the time. MY husband just keeps saying keep going no matter what he just wants it over with. I have to go 14 treatments. I have no where to turn can someone please help me? Thank you

  • Moonmomma
    6 months ago

    You are not alone. I feel so badly that you are going through this. I hope you don’t mind my asking, but why did you let it go? When I was diagnosed I wanted to just stick my head in the sand and pretend everything was fine. Just think as hard as it is now you are getting it done so you can one day live a cancer free life. Have you tried doing something for yourself after a treatment? You could also have a count down to your last treatment and do something special (go away or get your nails done or go out to dinner). You said you are on your 9th treatment right? You are more than half way done! Try to surround yourself with people who understand what you are going through and are positive. I know it’s hard, but hang in there.

  • Nina M moderator
    10 months ago

    @slcardon, I saw from your status update that you’re dealing with this awful situation. Please know that you’re not alone in this, and many of our members can relate. In addition to the links I shared with you in your status update, I wanted to include this one: A lot of community members have shared that others, either family, friends or even doctors, don’t understand what it’s really like to deal with skin cancer. I’m glad you reached out and please continue to do so. Thinking of you!
    – Nina, Team

  • Poll