How Common Is Skin Cancer?

About one out of every five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Skin cancer is the United States' most common cancer, with almost 60,000 people being diagnosed with skin cancer each year — a number that is increasing by about 3 percent every year.

More facts about skin cancer:

  • About 8,500 people die of skin cancer annually in the U.S. The number of men who die from skin cancer is almost twice as high as the number of women who do.

  • Despite these statistics, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that only about half of all Americans use some form of sun protection. Older Americans are more likely to use sunscreen, seek shade or wear sun protection clothing, with almost 60 percent of those 25 or older using some form of sun protection, compared to about 40 percent of those 18-24 and no more than 10 percent of people 18 or younger.

  • White males are almost four times as likely to die of skin cancer than men from any other ethnic group, and white women are slightly more than twice as likely to die from skin cancer than either Hispanic or black women.

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