Skin cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of melanoma skin cancer, 2015, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage melanoma skin cancer is of total cancer cases, 2015, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of melanoma skin cancer cases, 2013-2015, 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 (2015).[1-4]

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

51% of melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK are in males, and 49% are in females.

Melanoma skin cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item ) are similar to the UK average in all the UK constituent countries.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C43), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2015

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 6,827 676 400 209 8,112
Crude Rate 25.3 25.9 26.2 23.0 25.3
AS Rate 29.1 29.1 27.8 28.2 29.0
AS Rate - 95% LCI 28.4 26.9 25.1 24.4 28.4
AS Rate - 95% UCI 29.8 31.2 30.5 32.1 29.6
Female Cases 6,530 687 384 193 7,794
Crude Rate 23.5 24.9 24.4 20.5 23.6
AS Rate 24.2 24.6 23.6 22.1 24.1
AS Rate - 95% LCI 23.6 22.8 21.3 19.0 23.6
AS Rate - 95% UCI 24.7 26.4 26.0 25.2 24.7
Persons Cases 13,357 1,363 784 402 15,906
Crude Rate 24.4 25.4 25.3 21.7 24.4
AS Rate 26.2 26.3 25.3 24.7 26.1
AS Rate - 95% LCI 25.8 24.9 23.5 22.3 25.7
AS Rate - 95% UCI 26.7 27.7 27.1 27.1 26.5

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, July 2017. 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, August 2017. 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, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2015, 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 2013-2015, on average each year more than a quarter (27%) of new cases were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4] In contrast to most cancer types, malignant melanoma also occurs relatively frequently at younger ages.

Age-specific incidence rates increase steadily from around age 20-24. The highest rates are in the 90+ age group for males and the 85 to 89 age group for females.

Incidence rates are significantly lower in males than females in the younger age groups and significantly higher in males than females in the older age groups. The gap is widest at age 90+, when the age-specific incidence rate is 1.9 times higher in males than females.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C43), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2013-2015

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, 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, July 2017. 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, August 2017. 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, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2013-2015, ICD-10 C43.

Last reviewed:

Melanoma skin cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for males and females combined increased by 128% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.[1-4] The increase was larger in males than in females.

For males, melanoma skin cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 175% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015. For females, melanoma skin cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 95% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2003-2005 and 2013-2015), melanoma skin cancer AS incidence rates for males and females combined increased by 50%. In males AS incidence rates increased by 64%, and in females rates increased by 39%.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2015

Melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have increased overall in most broad age groups in males and females combined in the UK since the early 1990s, but have remained stable in some.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have remained stable, in 25-49s have increased by 68%, in 50-59s have increased by 90%, in 60-69s have increased by 151%, in 70-79s have increased by 207%, and in 80+s have increased by 194%.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, UK, 1993-2015

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 Office for National Statistics on request, July 2017. 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, August 2017. 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, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2015, ICD-10 C43.

Last reviewed:

Overall stage at diagnosis

A moderate proportion (70%) of melanoma skin cancer cases in England have stage at diagnosis recorded.[1]

More melanoma skin cancer patients with a known stage are diagnosed at an early stage (91% are diagnosed at stage I or II), than a late stage (9% are diagnosed at stage III or IV).[1]

The stage distribution for each cancer type will reflect many factors including how the cancer type develops, the way symptoms appear, public awareness of symptoms, how quickly a person goes to see their doctor and how quickly the cancer is recognised and diagnosed by a doctor. It might also relate to whether a national screening programme that can detect early stage disease exists for that cancer type, along with the extent of uptake of that programme.

A cancer type associated with a large proportion of early stage diagnoses could be one that is more likely to be symptomatic at an earlier stage of development, with recognisable symptoms rather than more generic ones.

Stage at diagnosis by deprivation

Late stage at diagnosis of melanoma skin cancer in England is associated with higher deprivation. Among adults aged 15-99 in England, 10% of those in the most deprived areas are diagnosed at stage III or IV, versus 8% of those in the least deprived areas.[1]

Stage at diagnosis by age

Melanoma skin cancer is more common in adults aged 80+ in England (10% diagnosed at stage III or IV), versus those aged 15-59 (8% diagnosed at stage III or IV). Late stage melanoma skin cancer, is also more common in adults aged 60-79 (10% diagnosed at stage III or IV) versus those aged 15-59 (8% diagnosed at stage III or IV).[1]

There are no differences in late stage at diagnosis for melanoma skin cancer between older adults aged 80+ and adults aged 60-79 in England.[1]

Stage at diagnosis by sex

Late stage at diagnosis of melanoma skin is associated with male sex in England. Among adults aged 15-99 in England, 10% of males are diagnosed at stage III or IV, versus 7% of females.[1]

These patterns by deprivation, age and sex are probably not explained by other demographic differences.[2]

References

  1. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Routes to diagnosis of cancer by stage 2012-2013 workbook. London: NCRAS; 2016.

  2. Lyratzopoulos G, Abel G, Brown C, et al. Socio-demographic inequalities in stage of cancer diagnosis: evidence from patients with female breast, lung, colon, rectal, prostate, renal, bladder, melanoma, ovarian and endometrial cancer. Annals of Oncology, 2012:843-50.

About this data

Data is for: England, 2012-2013, ICD-10 C43

The proportions of patients diagnosed late only include cases with a known stage at diagnosis and are not adjusted for other demographics differences (e.g. age, sex, ethnicity) unless stated otherwise.

Last reviewed:

In males, the largest proportion of melanoma skin cancer 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 melanoma skin cancer 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/.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 2010-2012, ICD-10 C43

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:

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

The lifetime risk for melanoma skin cancer has been calculated to account for the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of melanoma skin cancer 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.

About this data

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

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

Last reviewed:

There is evidence for an association between melanoma 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] Melanoma 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.

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

The estimated deprivation gradient in melanoma 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]

References

  1. Cancer Research UK and National Cancer Intelligence Network. Cancer by deprivation in England: Incidence, 1996-2010, Mortality, 1997-2011. London: NCIN; 2014.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2006-2010, ICD-10 C43

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for 2006-2010. 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.

Last reviewed:

Age-standardised Open a glossary item rates for White males with melanoma skin cancer 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 melanoma skin cancer, 38,097 cases were identified; 36% had no known ethnicity.

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK. Cancer Incidence and Survival by Major Ethnic Group, England, 2002-2006. 2009.

About this data

Data is for: England, 2002-2006, ICD-10 C43

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:

Melanoma skin cancer 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 melanoma skin cancer are in Switzerland for men and Denmark for women; the lowest rates are in Albania for both men and women. UK melanoma skin cancer 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]

Melanoma skin cancer is the 19th most common cancer worldwide, with around 232,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (2% of the total). Melanoma skin cancer 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.

About this data

Data is for: Europe and worldwide, 2012, ICD-10 C43

Last reviewed:

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