Melanoma: 5 Facts You Need To Know

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. It occurs when the pigment-producing skin cells become cancerous. Most often, the first sign of melanoma is a change in the look of a mole; the size, shape or color.

Five facts everyone should know regarding this deadly disease:

1. Melanoma is a skin cancer that can spread earlier and more quickly than other skin cancers.

2. 1 in 50 Americans will develop melanoma in their lifetime. It is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. and worldwide.

3. 1 person dies of melanoma every hour (every 57 minutes).

4. About 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

5. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old.

1 "What is melanoma skin cancer?" American Cancer Society, Inc. Accessed April 30, 2014.
2 AAD. "Skin cancer." American Academy of Dermatology. Accessed April 30, 2014.
3 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2014. Accessed June 2, 2014.
4 Parkin DM, Mesher D, P Sasieni. Cancers