Melanoma Facts

Melanoma Facts

    • Melanoma is a very serious form of skin cancer and is one of the fastest growing cancers worldwide
    • Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer because it can spread in other areas of the body
    • The survival rate for melanoma is high if it is detected early and unlike many cancers, melanoma is often clearly visible on the skin
    • In Canada, incidences of melanoma have more than tripled in the last 30 years and continues to rise
    • Melanoma is one of the top 7 most frequent cancers in Canada (affecting 6000 people in 2013 and causing 1,027 deaths)
    • It takes only one blistering sunburn to double a person’s chances of developing melanoma
    • Melanoma is one of the most common types of cancer for youth between the ages of 15-29
    • Life-time risk for melanoma is now 1 in 63 versus 1 in 1500 in the 1930s
    • Approximately 1 in 63 Canadian men is expected to develop melanoma during his lifetime and 1 in 79 Canadian women is expected to develop melanoma during her lifetime
    • In North America, one person dies from melanoma every hour
    • Melanoma can affect anyone regardless of sex, age, or race
    • The leading cause of melanoma is overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources (tanning beds, sunlamps)
    • UV rays can get through clouds, fog and haze. Water, sand, concrete and especially snow can reflect, and even increase, the sun’s burning rays
    • You are at a higher risk for melanoma if you have fair skin, red or blond hair, freckle easily, have many moles, have a close family history of melanoma, a history of severe burns, excessive exposure to UV light from the sun or use of tanning beds
    • Early exposure to tanning beds can increase a person’s chance of developing melanoma by 75%

Canadian Cancer Society. Melanoma Overview. Available at:

Canadian Cancer Society. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2013. Available at:

National Cancer Institute. What You Need To Know About Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers

World Health Organization. Skin cancers. Available at: ttp://

“The Association of Use of Sunbeds with Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers: A Systematic Review,” International Journal of Cancer 120, no. 5(2006): 1116 – 1122. Available at: