According to the National Cancer Institute, over one million people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
Malignant melanoma accounts for only three percent of skin cancer cases, but it causes more than 75% of skin cancer deaths. Melanoma is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells which cause an existing mole to darken and enlarge. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, non-melanoma cancers that begin in the cell layers beneath the outer skin, account for about 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers.
The incidence of all skin cancers is on the rise largely because people do not sufficiently protect themselves from excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the most significant and preventable risk factor in developing skin cancer.