In This Section


Through education and advocacy projects and in partnership with programs and practices nationwide, ACCC seeks to improve access to quality cancer care for those diagnosed with melanoma.

Although melanoma is a far less common skin cancer than squamous or basal cell carcinoma, it is much more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Only 1 percent of skin cancers are melanomas; however, melanoma is responsible for the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. 1

In 2022, the American Cancer Society estimates that:

  • About 99,780 new melanomas will be diagnosed (approximately 57,180 in men and 42,600 in women) and
  • About 9,7650 people will die of melanoma (approximately 5,080 men and 2,570 women).

As with squamous and basal cell carcinomas, high exposure to ultraviolet radiation is a leading risk factor for melanoma. Other risk factors for melanoma include a personal or family history of melanoma; atypical, large, numerous moles (>50); sun sensitivity; environmental exposures; and immunosuppression.1,2

Advances in immunotherapy and targeted therapies offer new treatment options for advanced melanoma. Since 2011, four new immunotherapy agents have received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for mono- and/or combination therapy in patients with melanoma, including a cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) checkpoint inhibitor (intravenous ipilimumab), programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibitors (intravenous pembrolizumab and nivolumab), and an oncolytic virus therapy (intralesional talimogene laherparepvec [T-VEC]).3

From Oncology Issues

  • Making the Case for an HIV Oncology Clinic
    By Marco A. Ruiz, MD
    Though the incidence of AIDS-defining cancers has decreased with the use of antiretroviral therapy, numerous studies suggest that non-AIDS-defining cancers (cancers not previously associated with HIV and AIDS) appear to be increasing in incidence.
  • Turning on the Light Switch
    By Ann McGreal, RN
    Discover how 2017 ACCC Innovator Award winner Advocate Medical Group developed and implemented an immunotherapy program, lessons learned, and tools created to educate staff and patients.
  • Patient-Specific Therapeutic Vaccines for Metastatic Melanoma
    Robert O. Dillman, MD
    The only standard treatments for metastatic melanoma that have been associated with long-term overall survival (OS) are surgical resection, and immunotherapies that include the immune-stimulating cytokine interleukin-2 (IL2), the anticytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) monoclonal antibody ipilimumab, and the anti-programmed death 1 (PD1) monoclonal antibodies nivolumab and pembrolizumab (aka lambrolizumab).
  • Stop Cancer Before It Starts!
    Melanie Gonzales, MSPH, MCHES, and Vicky Jekich, CMP
    While young people across the U.S. are able to access more information through technology with greater speed, they may be misinformed or lack understanding of how unhealthy behaviors can put their health at risk.
  • Views: Why Skinny On Skin?
    Robin Travers, MD
    Estheticians and other salon professionals are in a unique position to take note of unusual growths on their client’s skin and initiate an important conversation that may ultimately save a patient’s life.

From the ACCCBuzz Blog


  1. American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Skin Cancer.
  2. PDQ® Adult Treatment Editorial Board. PDQ Melanoma Treatment. 2017. Last accessed January 26, 2018.
  3. National Cancer Institute. Drugs approved for melanoma. 2018. Last accessed January 26, 2018.