Melanoma skin cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of melanoma skin cancer, 2015, UK

Deaths

Deaths from melanoma skin cancer, 2016, UK

Survival

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

Preventable cases

Melanoma skin cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 15,400 new melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK every year, that's 42 every day (2013-2015).
  • Melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer cases (2015).
  • In males in the UK, melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer, with around 8,100 new cases in 2015.
  • In females in the UK, melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer, with around 7,800 new cases in 2015.
  • Incidence rates for melanoma skin cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2013-2015).
  • Since the early 1990s, melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have more than doubled (128%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by more than two-and-a-half times (175%), and rates in females have increased by almost two times (95%).
  • Over the last decade, melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have increased by half (50%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by almost two-thirds (64%), and rates in females have increased by almost two-fifths (39%).
  • Around 1 in 10 melanoma skin cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage in England (2012-2013).
  • Most melanoma skin cancers occur in the trunk or legs.
  • Incidence rates for melanoma skin cancer are projected to rise by 7% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 32 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Melanoma skin cancer in England is less common in people living in the most deprived areas.
  • Melanoma skin cancer is most common in White people than Asian or Black people.
  • An estimated 110,300 people who had previously been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.

See more in-depth melanoma skin cancer incidence statistics

  • There are around 2,400 melanoma skin cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's more than 6 every day (2014-2016).
  • Melanoma skin cancer is the 20th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 1% of all cancer deaths (2016).
  • In males in the UK, melanoma skin cancer is the 17th most common cause of cancer death, with around 1,400 deaths in 2016.
  • In females in the UK, melanoma skin cancer is the 18th most common cause of cancer death, with around 930 deaths in 2016.
  • Mortality rates for melanoma skin cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2014-2016).
  • Since the early 1970s, melanoma skin cancer mortality rates have increased by around two-and-a-half times (156%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by around three-and-a-half times (247%), and rates in females have increased by around four-fifths (81%).
  • Over the last decade, melanoma skin cancer mortality rates have increased by around a seventh (14%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by around a fifth (19%), and rates in females have remained stable.
  • Mortality rates for melanoma skin are projected to fall by 15% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 4 deaths per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Melanoma skin cancer deaths are less common in males living in the most deprived areas.

See more in-depth melanoma skin cancer mortality statistics

  • 9 in 10 (90%) people diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • 9 in 10 (90%) people diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • Nearly all (97%) people diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Melanoma skin cancer survival is higher in women than men.
  • 95% of people in England diagnosed with 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).
  • 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 melanoma skin cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's 9 in 10.
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, all people with 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.
  • Five-year relative survival for melanoma skin cancer in men is above the European average in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland but below the European average in Wales.
  • Five-year relative survival for melanoma skin cancer in women is above the European average in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland but similar to the European average in Wales.

See more in-depth melanoma skin cancer survival statistics

  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • 1 in 36 UK males and 1 in 47 UK females will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in their lifetime.
  • 86% of melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK are preventable.

See more in-depth melanoma skin cancer risk statistics

  • 'Two-week wait' is the most common route to diagnosing melanoma skin cancer.
  • 'Two-week wait' is the route with the highest proportion of cases diagnosed at an early stage, for melanoma skin cancer.
  • ‘Two week wait’ standards are met by all countries and ’31 day wait’ and ’62 day wait’ are met by all but Northern Ireland, for skin cancer.
  • Most patients with melanoma skin cancer are treated with surgery.

See more in-depth melanoma skin cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

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The latest statistics available for skin cancer in the UK are; incidence 2015, mortality 2016 and survival 2010-2011 (all ages combined) and 2009-2013 (by age).

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

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.

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.

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. Staging proportions only include patients with a known stage (cases with an unknown stage at diagnosis are not included in the denominator).

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.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.

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