According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Approximately 9,500 people are diagnosed every day, and it is estimated that 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.
More than 3 million people each year develop nonmelanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Between 1976 and 2010, the incidence of basal cell carcinoma increased by 145%. During that same period, the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma increased by 263%. It is estimated that 178,560 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2018 - approximately 49% will be noninvasive and 51% will be invasive. Between 1982 and 2011, melanoma rates have doubled in the United States.
The following signs should be promptly investigated:
- a new skin growth that does not disappear in 4-6 weeks
- an open sore or wound that does not heal, persists more than 4 weeks, heals and then reopens
- any skin lesion that continues to grow
- a lesion that changes color, texture, becomes irregular in outline
- any skin spot or growth that continues to itch, burn, crust over, form a scab, becomes a sore or bleeds for several weeks