News & Press

Three Key Battlegrounds Identified as Research Shows Skin Cancer Reaches Epidemic Proportions

May 1, 2020 – Two leading organizations have come together to launch a global public awareness campaign in the fight against melanoma. In the ‘2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report: Stemming the Global Epidemic,’ the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy and Euromelanoma identify three key battlegrounds for fighting melanoma: the need to improve public awareness of melanoma risk factors; reducing intentional tanning; and making skin self-examinations a regular habit.

Figures gathered by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that in 2018, there were 71,434 cases of melanoma diagnosed in the United States. This translated to 9,491 deaths from melanoma. WHO predicts that by 2025, the number of cases of melanoma will rise by 14% to 81,538 with deaths increasing by 18% to 11,193. By 2040, nearly 100,795 people will be diagnosed with melanoma, a 41% increase on 2018 figures, while 15,349 will die from the disease (62% increase).

Globally, the incidence of melanoma was found to have reached epidemic proportions. Cases of melanoma are predicted to rise from 287,723 in 2018 to 340,271 in 2025, an increase of 18%. By 2040, cases will reach nearly half a million (466,914), an increase of 62%. Deaths will rise 20% from 60,712 in 2018 to 72,886 in 2025 and will reach 105,904, a 74% increase, in 2040.

As well as summarizing findings from third party research, the report includes commentary from leading dermatologists.

“The first section of the report uses hard facts and figures to quantify the scale of the problem now and how this is likely to increase. The predictions by WHO are truly shocking and must serve as a wake-up call to show that action is needed to tackle the global melanoma epidemic,” said Kyleigh LiPira, MBA, CEO of the Melanoma Research Foundation, the founding member of the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy.

Despite a widespread understanding of the link between UV exposure and melanoma, third party research shows that knowledge is not translating into action. 92% of people recognized that sun exposure can cause health problems, but only 18% always protect their skin from the sun. What’s more, 61% of people believe having tanned skin is attractive and 49% cannot imagine coming back from a vacation without a tan.1 Shockingly, more people develop skin cancer from indoor tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking.2 Only 11% of people have their moles checked by a dermatologist and only 33% have checked their own skin annually,1 despite dermatologists recommending that skin examinations should be carried out every four weeks.

Kyleigh LiPira added: “Melanoma is one of the few cancers where we can definitively identify its cause and that means it is largely preventable. Predictions are just that, predictions; but to stop them becoming a reality, we need worldwide action – now.”

“In the ‘2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report’ we set out the definitive actions needed to change mindsets and behaviors. It’s important that people translate their knowledge into preventative sun-safe action and it’s time to abandon beauty standards that say having a tan is sexy. It can also be deadly. We want to encourage everyone to check their skin on a monthly basis, so we asked ourselves what happens every four weeks that could serve as a reminder. Something that everyone could see, wherever they are in the world. The answer, of course, is the full moon, the concept for our 2020 campaign.”

The publication of the ‘2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report: Stemming the Global Epidemic’ coincides with the launch of a public awareness campaign by the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy and Euromelanoma. The campaign will run in over 50 countries worldwide, and consists of leaflet distribution, posters and social media activity.

View and download the 2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report here.

ABOUT THE GLOBAL COALITION FOR MELANOMA PATIENT ADVOCACY

The Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy was formed in 2014 by the Melanoma Research Foundation in response to the global need to bring the patient voice to the melanoma space.

The group has grown to include organizations from 27 different countries and is enthusiastically supported by its partners around the world, as well as the global patient, healthcare and pharmaceutical communities. The Coalition meets the vital needs of the worldwide melanoma community through three working groups, which each specialize in a unique area that addresses globally relevant issues for melanoma patients, encompassing:

  • Melanoma Awareness and Patient Resources
  • Patient Advocacy and Access to Treatment
  • Collaboration and Recruitment

The Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy meets annually and is determined to make the deadliest skin cancer curable through its worldwide partnership. For more information or with questions about the Global Coalition, email global@melanoma.org.

ABOUT EUROMELANOMA

Euromelanoma is Europe’s leading skin cancer awareness group. It is run by a network of European dermatologists who give up their time to promote and share information on skin cancer prevention, early diagnosis and treatment. It focuses on public awareness of skin cancer, including an annual ‘Euromelanoma Screening Day’; sharing knowledge and best practices with the healthcare community; and working with policymakers to ensure the treatment of skin cancer is fully recognized and supported in healthcare systems and policies.

Euromelanoma is a registered charity and is active in 33 countries. Visit http://www.euromelanoma.org to learn more.

References:

1 Skin cancer prevention study by La Roche-Posay and Ipsos

2 Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics: Skin Cancer Foundation