Orange Coast Radiation Oncology Center

Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. and around the globe. Melanoma may not be the most common type of skin cancer, but it is very serious, as it spreads at a rapid rate. This cancer occurs when pigment-producing cells called melanocytes mutate and become malignant, a process usually helped along by UV light exposure. Like many cancers, melanoma treatment is most effective in early-stage cancers. If not caught early on, melanoma can be deadly. 

Get the Facts: What You Need To Know About Melanoma

Though the exact cause of melanoma is unclear, an abundance of evidence suggests that the greatest risk factor is exposure to powerful UV lights. Tanning beds and long days in the sun have been proven to greatly increase one’s risk for developing this serious skin cancer. Evidence also suggests that women under the age of 40 are most likely to receive a melanoma diagnosis. 

The best way to reduce your risk of developing melanoma skin cancer is to limit your exposure to UV light and wear sunscreen when out and about. If you don’t heed this warning seriously, maybe these facts will convince you to do so: 

Melanoma Diagnosis Statistics

  • Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., and melanoma is the deadliest form of the disease. 
  • Healthcare professionals suspect that over 192,000 Americans will receive a melanoma diagnosis in 2019. Of those, over 96,000 will be diagnosed with invasive melanoma. 
  • Healthcare professionals also estimate the disease will claim the lives of 7,230 Americans in 2019. 
  • Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women between the ages of 25 and 30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 30 and 35. 
  • For those between the ages of 15 and 29, melanoma is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. 
  • The diagnosis rate of melanoma in people under 30 is increasing at a startling rate, up by more than 50% since 1980. 
  • Children can be diagnosed with melanoma, too. 
  • Today, approximately 1 million people live with this cancer in the U.S. alone. 
  • For Caucasians, the lifetime risk for developing this cancer is about 1 in 40; for Hispanics, it’s 1 in 200; for African Americans, it’s 1 in 1,000. 

Get the Facts on Intentional Tanning

  • Findings prove that indoor tanning does not protect a person from sunburn. 
  • Indoor tanning has been proven to cause cancer and, according to the World Health Organization, has been classified in the “highest cancer risk” category. 
  • A person’s risk of developing melanoma increases by 75% if he or she was exposed to a tanning bed before the age of 30. 
  • Young adults who use tanning beds on a regular basis are eight more times likely to develop melanoma than those who never use them. 

Preventing Melanoma

  • It only takes one blistering sunburn at a young age to more than double one’s lifetime risk of developing melanoma. 
  • Researchers estimate that nearly 90% of all melanomas are caused by exposure to UV rays and light. 
  • Preventing melanoma is as simple as seeking out shade during the hottest parts of the day and using sunscreen. 

Your Skin Cancer Treatment Team

Melanoma is a serious and often life-threatening skin cancer. For this reason, you should not treat it, or the possibility of developing it, lightly. Unlike many other cancers, melanoma does not discriminate based on age, sex, gender, diet or other common factors. All that it takes to increase your risk exponentially is a sunburn. Melanoma treatment is much more complicated than that, but our team Orange County CyberKnife is up to the task. Contact us today to learn more.