Melanoma is one of the most serious forms of skin cancer and early detection is top priority when it comes to treatment. The best way to detect melanoma is to regularly inspect your entire body looking for areas that could be a sign of trouble. When checking your body, be sure to check for the ABCDE’s of Melanoma.

A is for Asymmetry - One half does not match the other.

B is for Border Irregularity - The edges are notched or ragged.

C is for Color - Varied shades of tan, brown and black.

D is for Diameter - Greater than 5 millimeters.

E is for Evolving - Change in size, shape or shade of color.


  • Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S.

  • In 2019, over 192,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma. Of these, more than 96,000 will be diagnosed with invasive (Stage I, II, III or IV) melanoma and nearly 96,000 will be diagnosed with melanoma in situ (Stage 0).

  • In 2019, melanoma is expected to take the lives of 7,230 Americans.

  • Melanoma is not just skin cancer. It can develop anywhere on the body – eyes, scalp, nails, feet, mouth, etc.

  • Melanoma does not discriminate by age, race or gender.

  • Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in young women ages 25-30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 30-35.

  • In ages 15-29, melanoma is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer.

  • The incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other demographic group, soaring by 50% in women since 1980.

  • Approximately 500 American children are diagnosed with melanoma each year.

  • The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over the age of 50.

  • Today, nearly 1 million people live with melanoma in the U.S.

  • The lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 1 in 40 for Caucasians, 1 in 200 for Hispanics and 1 in 1,000 for African Americans.

  • Ocular melanoma, or melanoma of the eye, is the most common primary eye tumor in adults with around 2,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States.

  • Mucosal melanoma is a rare form of melanoma that develops in the sinuses, nasal passages, oral cavity, vagina, anus and other areas, making up about 1% of melanoma cases.

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