Melanoma skin cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of melanoma skin cancer each year, 2017-2019 average, UK

Proportion of all cases

Percentage melanoma skin cancer is of total cancer cases, 2017-2019, 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 5% of all new cancer cases (2017-2019).[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 4th most common cancer (4% of all new male cancer cases).

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

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

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, 2017-2019

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Cases 7,281 695 444 217 8,637
Crude Rate 25.7 24.9 27.9 22.7 25.7
AS Rate 26.1 24.3 26.7 23.9 25.9
AS Rate - 95% LCL 25.8 23.3 25.2 22.1 25.6
AS Rate - 95% UCL 26.5 25.3 28.1 25.8 26.2
Male Cases 7,543 692 485 180 8,901
Crude Rate 27.3 26.1 31.4 19.4 27.1
AS Rate 30.7 28.7 32.4 23.3 30.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 30.3 27.4 30.7 21.3 30.0
AS Rate - 95% UCL 31.1 29.9 34.1 25.3 30.7
Persons Cases 14,824 1,387 930 397 17,537
Crude Rate 26.5 25.5 29.6 21.1 26.4
AS Rate 27.9 25.9 29.1 23.4 27.7
AS Rate - 95% LCL 27.7 25.1 28.0 22.0 27.5
AS Rate - 95% UCL 28.2 26.7 30.1 24.7 27.9

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

References

  1. England data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS), part of the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) in NHS England, on request through the Office for Data Release, January 2023. Similar data can be found here: https://www.cancerdata.nhs.uk/ 

  2.  Northern Ireland data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) on request, October 2021. Similar data can be found here:http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/

  3. Welsh data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU), Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-reporting-tool-official-statistics/ June 2022. 

  4. Scotland data were provided by the Scottish Cancer Registry, Public Health Scotland (PHS) on request, May 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://publichealthscotland.scot/publications/show-all-releases?id=20468

About this data

Data is for UK, 2017-2019, ICD-10 C43.

Last reviewed:

In the UK in 2017-2019, 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 rise more steeply for females from age 20-24, but more steeply for males from age 55-59, then drop in the oldest age group. The highest rates are in the 85 to 89 age group for females and males.

Incidence rates are significantly higher for females than males in the younger age groups and significantly lower for females than males in the older age groups. The gap is widest at age 20 to 24, when the age-specific incidence rate is 2.6 times higher for females than males.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (C43), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2017-2019

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. England data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS), part of the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) in NHS England, on request through the Office for Data Release, January 2023. Similar data can be found here: https://www.cancerdata.nhs.uk/ 

  2.  Northern Ireland data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) on request, October 2021. Similar data can be found here:http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/

  3. Welsh data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU), Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-reporting-tool-official-statistics/ June 2022. 

  4. Scotland data were provided by the Scottish Cancer Registry, Public Health Scotland (PHS) on request, May 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://publichealthscotland.scot/publications/show-all-releases?id=20468

About this data

Data is for UK, 2017-2019, 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 147% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2017-2019.[1-4] The increase was larger in males than in females.

For females, melanoma skin cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 110% between 1993-1995 and 2017-2019. For males, melanoma skin cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 197% between 1993-1995 and 2017-2019.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2007-2009 and 2017-2019), melanoma skin cancer AS incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 31%. In females AS incidence rates increased by 25%, and in males rates increased by 36%.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (ICD-10 C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Persons Population, 1993 to 2019

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 remained stable in some.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have remained stable, in 25-49s have increased by 67%, in 50-59s have increased by 109%, in 60-69s have increased by 163%, in 70-79s have increased by 251% and in 80+s have increased by 233%.

Melanoma Skin Cancer (ICD-10 C43), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Persons Population, By Age, UK, 1993-2019

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. England data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS), part of the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) in NHS England, on request through the Office for Data Release, January 2023. Similar data can be found here: https://www.cancerdata.nhs.uk/ 

  2.  Northern Ireland data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) on request, October 2021. Similar data can be found here:http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/

  3. Welsh data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU), Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-reporting-tool-official-statistics/ June 2022. 

  4. Scotland data were provided by the Scottish Cancer Registry, Public Health Scotland (PHS) on request, May 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://publichealthscotland.scot/publications/show-all-releases?id=20468

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2019, 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.

Download this data

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:

The number of new melanoma skin cancer cases on average each year in the UK is projected to rise from around 20,800 cases in 2023-2025 to around 26,500 cases in 2038-2040.[1]

Melanoma skin cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 9% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040, to 33 cases per 100,000 people on average each year by 2038-2040.[1] This includes a similar increase for males and females.

For females, melanoma skin cancer European age standardised (AS) incidence rates Open a glossary item in the UK are projected to rise by 13% between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040, to 33 cases per 100,000 per year by 2038-2040.[1] For males, AS rates are projected to rise by 5% between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040, to 35 cases per 100,000 per year by 2038-2040.[1]

Melanoma skin cancer (C43), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1993-2040

Download the data table (xlsx)

References

Calculated by the Cancer Intelligence Team at Cancer Research UK, February 2023. Age-period-cohort modelling approach described here, using 2020-based population projections (Office for National Statistics) and observed cancer incidence (1975-2018 for England, Scotland and Wales, 1993-2018 for Northern Ireland).

About this data

Projections are based on incidence data from 1975-2018 (England, Scotland and Wales) and 1993-2018 (Northern Ireland); the above figure presents all UK data from 1993-2018 (observed) and 2019-2040 (projected). Number of new cases and age-standardised rates are presented as annual averages for each 3-year rolling period. ICD-10 codes C43.

Projections are based on observed incidence rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors and diagnosis. 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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