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Melanoma Facts

Discover simple ways to protect yourself and your loved ones.

What is melanoma?
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and fastest growing form of all cancers in the U.S.

Spending time outdoors exposes our skin to ultraviolet (UV) rays, leading to an increase in the production of melanin in skin cells. This is what causes our skin to tan. When skin is overly exposed to ultraviolet light these cells begin to grow abnormally and become cancerous, otherwise know as melanoma.

10 important facts about melanoma

  • Everyone is at risk for developing melanoma
  • There is no effective treatment available for advanced melanoma
  • More than one person dies from melanoma every hour
  • Melanoma and skin cancer is the fastest growing form of all cancers in the U.S., yet remains the most underfunded of all cancers by federal and private agencies.
  • Over one million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year, outnumbering the total number of other cancers combined
  • A personĂ•s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had five sunburns at any age
  • First exposure to tanning beds in youth increases melanoma risk by 75 percent
  • Melanoma is the most common cancer killer of young women, even more common than breast cancer in ages 30-34
  • There has been a 2000% increase in melanoma incidence since 1930

Sources: Melanoma International Foundation, American Melanoma Foundation,, Skin Cancer Foundation