Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.1,2 The incidence of skin cancer (basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma) has been on the rise for a number of years. This increase is likely due to a combination of factors: more awareness and screening, better detection, increased longevity, and more sun exposure.3
Estimates are that nonmelanoma skin cancers, which include basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, affect over 3 million Americans a year.4 Of the two, basal cell carcinoma is more common. Both of these types of skin cancer rarely spread to other parts of the body and are curable when detected early and treated appropriately.
Melanoma, although far less common, is much more likely to spread to other parts of the body. While only 1 percent of skin cancers are melanomas, this type of skin cancer is responsible for the majority of skin cancer deaths.1