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Facts About Skin Cancer

Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer: Statistics

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Statistics show information about large groups of people. Because no two people are alike, statistics can't be used to predict what will happen to one person. But they can help you understand a larger picture. Here are some statistics about nonmelanoma skin cancer:

  • Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer.

  • Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common types of skin cancer.

  • About 2.2 million people are diagnosed with basal and squamous cell skin cancers in the United States each year. (This is an estimate. Nonmelanoma skin cancers are not required to be reported to cancer registries.)

  • Nearly all basal and squamous cell cancers can be cured. This is more likely if the cancer is found and treated early, when it's small and has not spread.

  • People with lighter skin who burn easily or have freckles are much more likely to get skin cancer. People with darker skin are less likely to get skin cancer.

  • Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays is the most important risk factor for skin cancer, but only a little over half of American adults use sun protection.

  • Most skin cancers appear in older people, but skin damage from the sun begins at an early age. Sun protection should start in childhood to prevent skin cancer later in life.

Sources:  American Cancer Society (ACS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

 

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