Skin cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of melanoma skin cancer, 2014, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage melanoma skin cancer is of total cancer cases, 2014, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of malignant melanoma cases, 2012-2014, UK

Trend since 1970s

Melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have increased since the late 1970s, GB

 

Melanoma skin cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK (2014), accounting for 4% of all new cases. In males, it is the sixth most common cancer in the UK (4% of all male cases), whilst it is the fifth most common cancer in females in the UK (4% of all new cases).[1-4]

In 2014, there were 15,419 new cases of melanoma skin cancer in the UK: 7,717 (50%) in males and 7,702 (50%) in females, giving a male: female ratio of around 10:10.[1-4] The crude incidence rate Open a glossary item shows that there are 24 new melanoma skin cancer cases for every 100,000 males in the UK and 24 for every 100,000 females.

For males, the European age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates (AS rates) are significantly lower in Northern Ireland compared with other UK countries. In females, the rate is significantly lower in Scotland compared with England.[1-4] Rates do not differ significantly between the other constituent countries of the UK for either sex.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C43), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2014

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 6,490 426 646 155 7,717
Crude Rate 24.2 28.0 24.9 17.2 24.3
AS Rate 28.0 30.0 28.4 21.9 28.0
AS Rate - 95% LCL 27.3 27.2 26.2 18.4 27.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 28.7 32.9 30.6 25.3 28.6
Female Cases 6,503 396 606 197 7,702
Crude Rate 23.6 25.2 22.0 21.0 23.5
AS Rate 24.3 24.8 21.8 22.6 24.1
AS Rate - 95% LCL 23.7 22.4 20.1 19.4 23.5
AS Rate - 95% UCL 24.9 27.3 23.5 25.7 24.6
Persons Cases 12,993 822 1,252 352 15,419
Crude Rate 23.9 26.6 23.4 19.1 23.9
AS Rate 25.7 26.8 24.4 21.8 25.6
AS Rate - 95% LCL 25.3 25.0 23.1 19.5 25.2
AS Rate - 95% UCL 26.2 28.7 25.8 24.1 26.0

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item around the AS Rate Open a glossary item

For melanoma skin cancer, like most cancer types, differences between countries largely reflect risk factor prevalence in years past.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/

About this data

Data is for: UK, 2014, ICD10 C43

Last reviewed:

Melanoma skin cancer incidence is related to age, with the highest incidence rates overall being in older males and females. But in contrast to most cancer types, malignant melanoma also occurs relatively frequently at younger ages.[1-4] In the UK in 2012-2014, on average each year half (50%) of cases were diagnosed in people aged 65 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates increase steadily from around age 20-24 years, reaching a peak at age 90+ for males, and at age 85-89 years for females. The increase is sharper for males from age 55-59 years onwards. Incidence rates are higher for females than for males aged between 15-19 and 50-54: the difference is largest at age 50-54, when the female: male ratio of age-specific incidence rates (to account for the different proportions of males to females in each age group) is 12:10. However, males have higher incidence rates from age 60-64 onwards, and this gap is widest at the ages of 90+, when the male: female ratio of age-specific incidence rates is around 19:10.

Melanoma Skin (C43), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2012-2014

For melanoma skin cancer, like most cancer types, incidence increases with age. This largely reflects cell DNA damage accumulating over time. Damage can result from biological processes or from exposure to risk factors. A drop or plateau in incidence in the oldest age groups often indicates reduced diagnostic activity perhaps due to general ill health.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2012-2014, ICD-10 C43

Last reviewed:

Malignant melanoma incidence rates have increased by 360% in Great Britain since the late 1970s.[1-3] This includes a larger overall increase for males than for females.

For males, European age-standardised Open a glossary item (AS) incidence rates increased by more than six-fold (544% increase) between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013. The rise is smaller for females, with rates having more than tripled (263% increase) between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013.

Malignant Melanoma (C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, Great Britain, 1979-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2002-2004 and 2011-2013) malignant melanoma AS incidence rates have increased by 46% for males and females combined, with a larger increase for males (59%) than for females (36%).[1-4]

Malignant Melanoma (C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1993-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Malignant melanoma incidence trends probably reflect changing prevalence of risk factors, with recent incidence trends influenced by risk factor prevalence in years past. Increased surveillance and early detection, plus changes in diagnostic criteria, also play some part.[5-8Malignant melanoma incidence rates have increased overall for all of the broad age groups in Great Britain since the late 1970s.[1-3] The largest increases have been in people aged 70-79 and 80+, with European AS incidence rates increasing more than six-fold (541% and 554% increases, respectively) between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013. The smallest increase has been in people aged 0-24, with European AS incidence rates rising by 132% between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013.[1-3].

Malignant Melanoma (C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Age, Persons, Great Britain, 1979-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/search/index.html?newquery=cancer+registrations
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, February 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
  5. Dennis LK. Analysis of the melanoma epidemic, both apparent and real: data from the 1973 through 1994 surveillance, epidemiology, and end results program registry. Arch Dermatol 1999;135(3):275-80.
  6. de Vries E, Coebergh JW. Cutaneous malignant melanoma in Europe. Eur J Cancer 2004;40(16):2355-66.
  7. de Vries E, Coebergh JW. Melanoma incidence has risen in Europe. BMJ 2005; 331(7518):698.
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Staging completeness for skin cancer is high in England, with 90% of skin cancers recorded with a known stage at diagnosis in 2014.[1]

Malignant Melanoma (C43), Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, England 2014

People diagnosed with skin cancer with a known stage most commonly present at stage I (71%), in England. More people with a known stage are diagnosed at an early stage (91% diagnosed at stage I or II) than an advanced stage (9% diagnosed at stage III or IV). Only 2% of people have metastases Open a glossary item at diagnosis (stage IV).[1]

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Stage Breakdown by CCG 2014. London: NCIN; 2016.

About this data

Data is for: England, 2014, ICD-10 C43

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.

Last reviewed:

In males, the largest proportion of malignant melanoma cases occur in the trunk, with smaller proportions in the head and neck, and much smaller proportions in the arms and legs (2010-2012).[1-4]

In females, the largest proportion of malignant melanoma cases occurs in the legs, with smaller proportions in the arms, trunk and head and neck (2010-2012).[1-4]

The proportions of cases in the trunk and head and neck are higher in males (41.0% and 23.4%, respectively) than females (19.8% and 14.0%, respectively). In the legs and arms, the proportions are higher in females (38.4% and 25.1%, respectively) than males (13.4% and 18.8%, respectively).[1-4]

A small proportion of cases did not have the specific part of the body recorded in cancer registry data, or overlapped more than one part.[1-4]

Cases and percentages may not sum due to rounding

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here:
    http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerInformation/.
Last reviewed:

Melanoma skin cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 7% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 32 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes a larger increase for males than for females.

For males, melanoma skin cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates in the UK are projected to rise by 6% between 2014 and 2035, to 35 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to rise by 6% between 2014 and 2035, to 30 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

Melanoma Skin (C43), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

 

It is projected that 22,175 cases of melanoma skin cancer (11,897 in males, 10,278 in females) will be diagnosed in the UK in 2035.

References

  1. Smittenaar CR, Petersen KA, Stewart K, Moitt N. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Projections in the UK Until 2035. Brit J Cancer 2016.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 1979-2014 (observed), 2015-2035 (projected), ICD-10 C43

Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. It is not possible to assess the statistical significance of changes between 2014 (observed) and 2035 (projected) figures. Confidence intervals are not calculated for the projected figures. Projections are by their nature uncertain because unexpected events in future could change the trend. It is not sensible to calculate a boundary of uncertainty around these already uncertain point estimates. Changes are described as 'increase' or 'decrease' if there is any difference between the point estimates.

More on projections methodology

Last reviewed:

The lifetime risk of developing malignant melanoma is 1 in 52 for men and 1 in 54 for women, in 2012 in the UK.[1]

The lifetime risk for malignant melanoma has been calculated to account for the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of malignant melanoma over the course of their lifetime (‘Adjusted for Multiple Primaries’ (AMP) method).[2]

References

  1. Lifetime risk estimates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. Based on data provided by the Office of National Statistics, ISD Scotland, the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit and the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, on request, December 2013 to July 2014.
  2. Sasieni PD, Shelton J, Ormiston-Smith N, et al. What is the lifetime risk of developing cancer?: The effect of adjusting for multiple primaries. Br J Cancer, 2011. 105(3): p. 460-5.
Last reviewed:

There is evidence for an association between skin cancer incidence and deprivation in both males and females in England.[1] England-wide data for 2006-2010 show European age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates are 53% lower for males living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived, and 56% lower for females.[1] Skin cancer is one of the few cancers where incidence rates are lower for more deprived males and females compared to the least deprived males and females.

Malignant Melanoma (C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates by Deprivation Quintile, England, 2006-2010

The estimated deprivation gradient in skin cancer incidence between people living in the most and least deprived areas in England has widened for males during the period 1996-2010, but has not changed for females.[1] It is estimated that there would have been around 2,800 more cancer cases each year in England during 2006-2010 if all people experienced the same incidence rates as the least deprived.[1]

Last reviewed:

Age-standardised Open a glossary item rates for White males with malignant melanoma range from 13.1 to 13.6 per 100,000. Rates for Asian males are significantly lower, ranging from 0.2 to 0.8 per 100,000 and the rates for Black males are also significantly lower, ranging from 0.6 to 2.6 per 100,000. For females there is a similar pattern - the age-standardised rates for White females range from 14.7 to 15.2 per 100,000, and rates for Asian and Black females are also significantly lower ranging from 0.2 to 1.1 per 100,000 and 1.0 to 3.6 per 100,000 respectively.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For malignant melanoma, 38,097 cases were identified; 36% had no known ethnicity.

Last reviewed:

In the UK around 59,000 people were still alive at the end of 2006, up to ten years after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma.[1]

Malignant Melanoma (C43), One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence, UK, 31st December 2006

1 Year Prevalence 5 Year Prevalence 10 Year Prevalence
Male 4,278 16,118 24,617
Female 5,132 21,203 34,530
Persons 9,410 37,321 59,147

Worldwide, it is estimated that there were nearly 756,000 men and women still alive in 2008, up to five years after their diagnosis.[2]

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence by Cancer Network UK, 2006. London: NCIN; 2010.
  2. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al. GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC Cancerbase No.10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr. Accessed May 2011.
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In 2014, there were 131,772 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) registered (under-recording is a known problem) in the UK:[1-4] 73,925 (56%) in males and 57,847 (44%) in females, giving a male:female ratio of around 14:10.[1-4] The crude incidence rate Open a glossary item shows that there are 233 new NMSC cases for every 100,000 males in the UK and 176 for every 100,000 females.

The European age-standardised incidence rates Open a glossary item (AS rates) are significantly lower in Wales compared with other UK countries for both sexes. For males only, the rate is significantly lower in England compared with Scotland and Northern Ireland. For females only, the rate is significantly lower in Scotland compared with England.[1-4]

Non-melanoma Skin Cancer (C44), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2014

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 63,100 2,237 6,547 2,041 73,925
Crude Rate 235.7 147.0 252.1 226.1 232.5
AS Rate 288.0 166.0 304.9 307.7 283.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 285.8 159.2 297.6 294.3 281.4
AS Rate - 95% UCL 290.3 172.9 312.3 321.0 285.5
Female Cases 49,762 1,596 4,975 1,514 57,847
Crude Rate 180.7 101.6 180.8 161.4 176.3
AS Rate 184.3 92.6 177.3 179.2 178.8
AS Rate - 95% LCL 182.7 88.0 172.4 170.2 177.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 186.0 97.1 182.2 188.2 180.2
Persons Cases 112,862 3,833 11,522 3,555 131,772
Crude Rate 207.8 124.0 215.5 193.2 204.0
AS Rate 228.9 123.7 229.9 235.1 223.6
AS Rate - 95% LCL 227.6 119.8 225.7 227.3 222.4
AS Rate - 95% UCL 230.2 127.6 234.1 242.8 224.8

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item around the AS Rate Open a glossary item

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

For non-melanoma skin cancer, like most cancer types, differences between countries largely reflect risk factor prevalence in years past.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 2014, ICD10 C44

Last reviewed:

Malignant melanoma is the ninth most common cancer in Europe, with more than 100,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (3% of the total). In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates for malignant melanoma are in Switzerland for men and Denmark for women; the lowest rates are in Albania for both men and women. UK malignant melanoma incidence rates are estimated to be the ninth highest in males in Europe, and seventh highest in females.[1] These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.[2]

Malignant melanoma is the 19th most common cancer worldwide, with around 232,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (2% of the total). Malignant melanoma incidence rates are highest in Australia/New Zealand and lowest in South Central Asia, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.[1]

Variation between countries may reflect different prevalence of risk factors, use of screening, and diagnostic methods.

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed December 2013.
  2. Ferlay J, Steliarova-Foucher E, Lortet-Tieulent J, et al.Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in Europe: Estimates for 40 countries in 2012. European Journal of Cancer (2013) 49, 1374-1403.
Last reviewed:

Cancer Statistics Explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

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