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  • Skin cancer is a common cancer on the rise both nationally and globally, putting a heavy financial burden on health care systems.

  • Understanding the epidemiological trends of the various types of skin cancer increases prevention awareness, improves early detection and control, and allows for better management of the financial burden skin cancer causes.


  • Disparities exist in access to care and the treatment of patients with skin cancer.

  • Patient perception and education, physician perception, and access to care all contribute to skin cancer treatment outcomes.


  • The clinical appearance, presentation, and prevalence of skin cancers may vary across different complexions and skin tones seen in human populations.


  • Patients, as well as the general population, must be informed that many of the major risk factors for skin cancer are preventable and modifiable.

  • Thus, patients and the general population need not only be educated on what these risk factors are but should also be advised on how to avoid these risks factors and appraise risk factors specifically associated with certain therapies used for other illnesses and diseases.


In the United States, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer; more than 9500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. More than two people die of skin cancer every hour, and it is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Globally, skin cancer is the 19th most common cancer, and the incidence rate of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) is increasing. Within the past decade alone, the number of melanoma cases diagnosed annually increased by 44%.1 Roughly 2 to 3 million NMSCs and 132,000 melanoma cases occur globally each year.2 This puts a huge economic burden on health care systems and public health services. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the average annual cost of treating melanoma and NMSCs in the United States is $3.3 billion and $4.8 billion dollars, respectively.3 It is critical to study and understand the epidemiological trends of melanoma and NMSCs to increase prevention awareness, improve early detection and control, and manage the financial burden of skin cancer. In this chapter, we discuss melanoma and prevalent NMSCs, describing each cancer and detailing their risk factors and current epidemiological courses. We also discuss health disparities of care for patients with skin cancer.



Approximately 50% of all cancers are skin cancers. Of these, 95% are NMSCs, and 5% are melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) accounts for roughly 75% of these NMSCs, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) comprises 20%, and the last 5% is made up of less common NMSCs, such as Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). NMSCs occur mostly on chronically sun-exposed skin, such as ...

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