Let's Talk Numbers

Last updated: October 2018

Numbers have never really been my thing. My least favorite classes in high school and college were classes relating to numbers. Math? I’d rather not. Accounting? Please just let me get through this. You get the picture. I remember asking one of my professors if I could write him a research paper instead of taking the math final (he got a good laugh out of it, but declined). I was actually pretty decent in math, but I’d much rather work with words. Reading? I’m in. Writing? Yes please. So why would someone who isn’t particularly fond of numbers want to talk numbers? Because I think this is important.

Let this soak in.

Skin cancer statisitics

  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime.
  • Between 40 and 50% of Americans who live to age 65 will have either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma at least once.
  • More than 4 million cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.
  • The annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion.
  • On average, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
  • Regular use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40% and the risk of developing melanoma by 50%.
  • From ages 15-39, men are 55% more likely to die from melanoma than women in the same age group.

(From “Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics" – SkinCancer.org)

Melanoma in numbers

  • An estimated 87,110 new melanomas will be diagnosed in the United States in 2017.
  • An estimated 9,730 people are expected to die of melanoma in the United States in 2017.
  • Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans.
  • Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young adults, especially young women.

(From  "Key Statistics for Melanoma Skin Cancer", American Cancer Society – https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma-skin-cancer/about/key-statistics.html)

    Non-melanoma skin cancer in numbers

  • About 80% of non-melanoma skin cancer is basal cell.
  • About 2,000 people die each year from basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer.

(From Skin Cancer (Non-Melanoma): Statistics – Cancer.net 12/2016)

    Skin cancer risks for youth

  • Percentage of kids who use tanning beds: way too high.
  • Percentage of parents who shouldn’t let their kids use tanning beds – 100%.

(Okay, I made those two up, but I fully believe this.)

Want the numbers to be in your favor? Be sun smart. Practice sun awareness. Avoid overexposure to the sun. And please, please, please do not use tanning beds. You may like how you look with a tan, but having a tan is not worth you becoming a statistic.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Have you taken our In America survey yet?