Skin Cancer Facts
- Skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers
- 1 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year alone. This is not just in transplant recipients, but includes all U.S. citizens
- Many of these expected diagnoses could have been prevented by protection from the sun’s rays and avoiding indoor tanning.
- In the U.S. general population, Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer accounting for 80% of skin cancer cases. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second in the number of cases accounting for 16%. Melanoma, although potentially the most dangerous skin cancer, is the least common accounting for 4%
- Substantially more than 1 million unreported cases of basal cell or squamous cell cancers occur annually
- Most, but not all, of these forms of skin cancer are highly curable
- The rate of skin cancer in people who have had transplants can be as high as 80% within 20 years after the transplant
- 11,590 people in the United States will die of skin cancer in 2009. 8,650 from melanoma and 2,940 from other skin cancers. American Cancer Society’s 2009 Facts and Figures
- In the general population 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer. The frequency of skin cancer in fair-skinned populations living closer to the equator, or with extremely sunny climates such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and South and Central America, may have rates as high as 1 in 2 persons
- Immunosuppressed transplant recipients are 65 times more likely to develop a squamous cell carcinoma than the general population
- Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer in immunosuppressed transplant recipients
- The risk of developing a skin cancer increases with increasing time from transplant
- Heart transplant recipients tend to experience a dramatic rise in the incidence of skin cancer ~5 years after their transplant.
- Liver and kidney transplant recipients tend to experience a dramatic rise in the incidence of skin cancer ~10 years after transplant
- 10-45 % of transplant recipients have a skin cancer 10 years after transplant
- Four years after heart transplant, one study showed that 25% of deaths were caused by skin cancer
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