Skin cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of malignant melanoma, 2013, UK

Deaths

Deaths from malignant melanoma, 2012, UK

Survival

Survive malignant melanoma for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales

Prevention

Preventable cases of malignant melanoma, UK

  • There were around 14,500 new cases of malignant melanoma in the UK in 2013, that’s 40 cases diagnosed every day.
  • Malignant melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK (2013).
  • Malignant melanoma accounts for 4% of all new cases in the UK (2013).
  • In males in the UK, malignant melanoma is the seventh most common cancer, with around 7,200 cases diagnosed in 2013.
  • In females in the UK, malignant melanoma is the fifth most common cancer, with around 7,400 cases diagnosed in 2013.
  • There were around 72,100 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer in the UK in 2013, though this underestimates true incidence.
  • Around half (49%) of malignant melanoma cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in people aged 65 and over (2011-2013).
  • Since the late 1970s, malignant melanoma incidence rates have more than quadrupled (360% increase) in Great Britain. The increase is larger in males where rates have increased more six-fold (544% increase), than in females where rates have more than tripled (263% increase).
  • Over the last decade, malignant melanoma incidence rates have increased by almost half (46%) in the UK, though this includes a larger increase in males (59%, around three-fifths) than females (36%, more than a third).
  • Skin cancer in England is less common in people living in the most deprived areas.
  • Most malignant melanoma cases are diagnosed at an early stage.
  • Most skin cancers occur in the trunk or legs.
  • In Europe, more than 100,000 new cases of malignant melanoma were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is ninth highest in Europe for males and seventh highest for females.
  • Worldwide, around 232,000 people were estimated to have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
  • 1 in 54 people will be diagnosed with malignant melanoma during their lifetime.
  • Around 98,400 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer were registered in 2011 in the UK; registration is incomplete, however, with an estimated 30-50% of BCC and around 30% of SCC going unrecorded.

Read more in-depth skin cancer incidence statistics

  • Around 2,100 people died from malignant melanoma in 2012 in the UK, that's around 6 every day.
  • Around 6 in 10 of all people who die from malignant melanoma are under 75 years old.
  • In the UK, death rates from malignant melanoma in people aged 75 and over have more than quadrupled in the last 40 years.
  • In Europe, around 22,200 people were estimated to have died from malignant melanoma in 2012. The UK mortality rate is 19th highest in Europe for males and 17th highest for females.
  • Skin cancer deaths are less common in people living in the most deprived areas.
  • Worldwide, around 55,500 people were estimated to have died from malignant melanoma in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.
  • Around 640 people died from non-melanoma skin cancer in 2012 in the UK.
  • More than 6 in 10 non-melanoma skin cancer deaths are in men.

Read more in-depth skin cancer mortality statistics

  • 9 in 10 (90%) people diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-2011).
  • 9 in 10 (90%) people diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-2011).
  • Nearly all (97%) people diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-2011).
  • Malignant melanoma skin cancer survival is higher in women than men (2010-2011).
  • 95% of people in England diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer aged 15-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with more than 8 in 10 people diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
  • Malignant melanoma skin cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, almost half of people diagnosed with malignant melanoma skin cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's 9 in 10.
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, all people with malignant melanoma skin cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with a quarter of women and less than a tenth of men when diagnosed at the latest stage.

Read more in-depth skin cancer survival statistics

  • 86% (90% in males and 82% in females) of malignant melanoma skin cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
  • A person’s risk of developing skin cancer depends  on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk  factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors). 
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main potentially avoidable risk factor for skin cancer, linked to an estimated 86% of malignant melanoma cases in the  UK. 
  • UV radiation from sunbeds, ionising radiation, certain occupational exposures, and certain medical conditions and medications cause skin cancer. 
  • Skin cancer risk varies with skin type, hair and eye colour, and number of  moles.

Read more in-depth skin cancer risk factors

  • 'Two-week wait’ is the most common route to diagnosis of malignant melanoma.
  • Most patients with malignant melanoma are treated with surgery.
  • Around 9 in 10 patients had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ patient experience.
  • More than 8 in 10 patients are given the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Want the key stats in the sections on this page as a document? or looking for a stats report of the in-depth stats? Use the print function at the bottom of any Cancer Stats page Share this page > Print or your browser options to print or save.

The latest statistics available for skin cancer in the UK are; incidence 2013, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-2011 (all ages combined) and 2009-2013 (by age) (malignant melanoma only as survival data for non-melanoma skin cancer are not currently published).

The ICD code Open a glossary item for malignant melanoma of the skin is ICD-10 C43.

The ICD code for non-melanoma skin cancer is ICD-10 C44.

Malignant melanoma of the skin is less common than non-melanoma skin cancer, but is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanomas can occur in other body organs, such as the eye, but such data are not shown here. On these pages "malignant melanoma" refers to malignant melanoma of the skin only.

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2012.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages, stages Open a glossary item and co-morbidities The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

Stage at diagnosis data is not yet routinely available for the UK due to inconsistencies in the collecting and recording of staging data in the past.

Meta-analyses Open a glossary item and systematic reviews Open a glossary item are cited where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort studies Open a glossary item are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Routes to diagnosis statistics were calculated from cases of cancer registered in England which were diagnosed in 2012-2013.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Skin cancer is part of the group 'Skin cancer' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: malignant melanoma of the skin, non-melanoma skin cancer and secondary malignant melanoma of the skin.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for three time periods: 1996-2000, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010 and for mortality for two time periods: 2002-2006 and 2007-2011. The 1997-2001 mortality data were only used for the all cancers combined group as this time period includes the change in coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The deprivation quintiles were calculated using the Income domain scores from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) from the following years: 2004, 2007 and 2010. Full details on the data and methodology can be found in the Cancer by Deprivation in England NCIN report.

Citation

You are welcome to reuse this Cancer Research UK statistics content for your own work.

Credit us as authors by referencing Cancer Research UK as the primary source. Suggested styles are:

Web content: Cancer Research UK, full URL of the page, Accessed [month] [year]. 

Publications: Cancer Research UK ([year of publication]), Name of publication, Cancer Research UK. 

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data. 

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 3.2 out of 5 based on 43 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page