The Top 5 Countries with the Highest Skin Cancer Incidence Rates

  Country Skin Cancer Incidence Rate
(ASR per 100,000)
1 Australia 36.7
2 New Zealand 36.2
3 Switzerland 19.2
4 Denmark 18.5
5 Norway 17.0
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 Special Report
  1. The incidence of both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers has been increasing over the past decades. Currently, between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers occur globally each year. One in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer and, according to Skin Cancer Foundation Statistics, one in every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. (a.)
  2. The global incidence of melanoma continues to increase – however, the main factors that predispose to the development of melanoma seem to be connected with recreational exposure to the sun and a history of sunburn. As ozone levels are depleted, the atmosphere loses more and more of its protective filter function and more solar UV radiation reaches the Earth's surface. It is estimated that a 10 per cent decrease in ozone levels will result in an additional 300,000 non-melanoma and 4,500 melanoma skin cancer cases. (a.)
  3. Due to their relative lack of skin pigmentation Caucasian populations generally have a much higher risk of getting non-melanoma or melanoma skin cancers than dark-skinned populations. Naturally brown and black people can usually safely tolerate relatively high levels of sun exposure without getting sunburnt or greatly increasing their skin cancer risk. In contrast, people with pale or freckled skin, fair or red hair and blue eyes belong to the highest risk group. People with dark hair and eyes who do not normally get sunburnt are at medium risk of developing skin cancer. (a.)
  4. Melanoma is expected to be diagnosed in about 76,250 persons in the United States in 2012, accounting for less than 5% of all skin cancer cases but the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. Melanoma is 10 times more common in whites than in African Americans. Although before age 40, incidence rates are higher in women than in men, after 40, rates are almost twice as high in men as in women. Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for at least 30 years. Since 2004, incidence rates among whites have been increasing by almost 3% per year in both men and women. (b.)
  5. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old. The incidence of many common cancers is falling, but the incidence of melanoma continues to rise at a rate faster than that of any of the seven most common cancers.17 Between 1992 and 2004, melanoma incidence increased 45 percent, or 3.1 percent annually. Melanoma is seven times more common between the ages of 10 and 20 than it is between birth and 10 years. One person dies of melanoma skin cancer every hour (every 62 minutes). (c).
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. World Health Organization. (2012). Ultraviolet radiation and the INTERSUN Programme. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  2. American Cancer Society. (2012). Cancer Facts & Figures 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  3. American Cancer Society. (2010). Cancer Facts & Figures 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
Tags: Top 5 Highest, Cancer statistics, Australia

Sources:  GLOBOCAN 2008, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet].

List Notes: Data is skin cancer (melanoma only) age-standardized incidence rate for both sexes and all ages per 100,000 population for the year 2008 or latest available data. An age-standardized rate is the rate that a population would have if it had a standard age structure. Standardization is necessary when comparing several populations that differ with respect to age because age has a powerful influence on the risk of cancer. (list last updated by top 5 of Anything: May 26th, 2012).
Countries with the Highest Skin Cancer Incidence Rates

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