The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
Five percent of all cancers in men are melanomas; Four percent of all cancers in women are melanomas.
Contrary to popular belief, recent studies show that people receive a fairly consistent dose of ultraviolet radiation over their entire lifetime.
Adults over age 40, especially men, have the highest annual exposure to UV.
Between 1980 and 2004, the annual incidence of melanoma among young women increased by 50 percent, from 9.4 cases to 13.9 cases per 100,000 women.
The number of women under age 40 diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma has more than doubled in the last 30 years; the squamous cell carcinoma rate for women has also increased significantly.
Until age 39, women are almost twice as likely to develop melanoma as men. Starting at age 40, melanoma incidence in men exceeds incidence in women, and this trend becomes more pronounced with each decade.
One in 39 men and one in 58 women will develop melanoma in their lifetime.
Melanoma is one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men.
Sources: American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2009. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2009.2 Godar DE, Urbach F, Gasparro FP, van der Leun JC. UV Doses of Young Adults. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 2003, 77(4): 453-457.2 Perdue, Mark. Increase in melanoma cases among young American women. J Investigative Dermatology 2008. Christenson LJ, Borrowman TA, Vachon CM, Tollefson MM, Otley CC, Weaver AL, Roenigk RK. Incidence of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas in a population younger than 40 years. JAMA. 2005;294:681-690. Ahmedin Jemal, Rebecca Siegel, Elizabeth Ward, Taylor Murray, Youngping Hao, Jiaquan Xu, and Michael J. Thun. Cancer Statistics, 2008. CA Cancer J Clin 2008 58: 76. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2009. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2009. Ahmedin Jemal, Rebecca Siegel, Elizabeth Ward, Taylor Murray, Youngping Hao, Jiaquan Xu, and Michael J. Thun. Cancer Statistics, 2008. CA Cancer J Clin 2008 58: 76.2