Melanoma skin cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of melanoma skin cancer each year, 2016-2018 average, UK.

Proportion of all cases

Percentage melanoma skin cancer is of total cancer cases, 2016-2018, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of melanoma skin cancer cases, 2016-2018, UK

 

Trend over time

Change in melanoma skin cancer incidence rates since the early 1990s, UK

 

Melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer cases (2016-2018).[1-4]

In females in the UK, melanoma skin cancer is the 5th most common cancer (5% of all new female cancer cases). In males in the UK, it is the 6th most common cancer (4% of all new male cancer cases).

50% of melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK are in females, and 50% are in males.

Melanoma skin cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rate Open a glossary item) for persons are significantly lower than the UK average in Scotland and Northern Ireland and similar to the UK average in all other UK constituent countries.

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

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C43), Average Number of New Cases Per Year, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Cases 7,052 678 416 214 8,360
Crude Rate 25.1 24.4 26.2 22.5 25.0
AS Rate 25.6 23.9 25.1 23.9 25.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 25.2 22.9 23.8 22.0 25.1
AS Rate - 95% UCL 25.9 25.0 26.5 25.7 25.7
Male Cases 7,087 667 454 176 8,384
Crude Rate 25.8 25.3 29.5 19.2 25.7
AS Rate 29.3 27.9 30.8 23.3 29.1
AS Rate - 95% LCL 28.9 26.7 29.2 21.3 28.7
AS Rate - 95% UCL 29.7 29.2 32.4 25.3 29.4
Persons Cases 14,139 1,345 870 390 16,744
Crude Rate 25.4 24.8 27.8 20.9 25.4
AS Rate 27.0 25.4 27.5 23.4 26.8
AS Rate - 95% LCL 26.8 24.6 26.4 22.1 26.6
AS Rate - 95% UCL 27.3 26.2 28.6 24.7 27.0

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

References

  1. Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, July 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-incidence-in-wales-2002-2018/, March 2021.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018, ICD-10 C43.

Last reviewed:

Melanoma skin cancer incidence is related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2016-2018, on average each year more than a quarter of new cases (29%) were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4] In contrast to most cancer types, melanoma skin cancer also occurs relatively frequently at younger ages.

Age-specific incidence rates increase steadily from around age 20-24 and more steeply in males from around age 55-59. The highest rates are in in the 85 to 89 age group for females and males.

Incidence rates are significantly higher in females than males in the younger age groups and significantly lower in females than males in the older age groups. The gap is widest at age 20 to 24, when the age-specific incidence rate is 2.7 times higher in females than males.

Melanoma skin cancer (C43), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018

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 National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, July 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-incidence-in-wales-2002-2018/, March 2021.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018, ICD-10 C43.

Last reviewed:

Melanoma skin cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 140% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.[1-4] The increase was larger in males than in females.

For females, melanoma skin cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 106% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018. For males, melanoma skin cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 186% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2006-2008 and 2016-2018), melanoma skin cancer AS incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 32%. In females AS incidence rates increased by 27%, and in males rates increased by 38%.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993 to 2018

Melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have increased overall in most broad age groups in females and males combined in the UK since the early 1990s, but have decreased in some.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have decreased by 18%, in 25-49s have increased by 67%, in 50-59s have increased by 102%, in 60-69s have increased by 158%, in 70-79s have increased by 236% and in 80+s have increased by 218%.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Persons Population, By Age, UK, 1993-2018

Melanoma skin cancer 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.

References

  1. Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, July 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-incidence-in-wales-2002-2018/, March 2021.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2018, ICD-10 C43.

Last reviewed:

In females, the most common specific location for melanoma skin cancers in the UK is the lower limb, in males the most common specific location for melanoma skin cancers in the UK is the trunk (2016-2018).[1-4] Variation of incidence by anatomical site may reflect the physical size of each site, and differences in risk factor exposure by site, among other factors.

Cases and percentages may not sum due to rounding

References

  1. Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, July 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales, March 2021. https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-incidence-in-wales-2002-2018/.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018, ICD-10 C43. For some cases the specific location of the cancer is not recorded, this may be due to clinical or data recording factors.

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 cancer (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:

An estimated 110,300 people who had been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer between 1991 and 2010 were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.[1]

References

  1. Macmillan Cancer Support and National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Cancer Prevalence UK Data Tables. London: NCRAS; 2015.

About this data

Data is for: Great Britain (1991-2010) and Northern Ireland (1993-2010), ICD-10 C43

Last reviewed:

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