The entertainment and sports industries regularly produce countless publications on prognostications that many fans love, and many bettors rely on. They’re full of predictions on things like “who’ll win at the Oscars this year?” or “which teams will draft which quarterbacks?”
They’re popular because the topics are literally fun and games, and there’s no fear attached to reading them. But as is known by virtually everyone, life is not always fun and games. To that end, it may be interesting to learn that the American Cancer Society also publishes an annual list of projections. Only their subject is infinitely more important.
Earlier this month, the ACS released their 2018 edition of Cancer Facts and Figures. It’s an online report within which they announce their numeric expectations for the development of different cancers in the United States. They base their projected statistics of cancer occurrences and mortality on the factual data garnered from the 5-year time period of 2010-2014. The account helpfully includes projections for every U.S. state as well. As a melanoma blog, we’re going to focus on the ACS’s skin cancer data.
Please note that, while much research has gone into calculating them, the following figures are only projections. None are set in stone, but they are interesting for comparison purposes.
Here’s the Skin-ny
In the U.S., the ACS estimates 178,560 new cases of melanoma in 2018. Here, broken down by type, is how they compare with last year’s melanoma projections:
In situ: 87,290
In situ: 74,680
Projected increases from 2017 to 2018:
In situ: 16.9%
Projected increases in the male to female ratio:
Men have a 50% greater chance of receiving an invasive melanoma diagnosis than their female counterparts. (In situ diagnosis data is unavailable).
The National Cancer Institute states that data from 2012-2014 revealed that, from cradle-to-grave, men are 50% more likely to contract invasive melanoma. However, more women contract it from the time they’re born up until the age of 49.
Why is that? Unfortunately, there are no concrete or definitive reasons as to why the tables (both literally and figuratively) turn near the half-century mark of life. Although, we can speculate on both sides of the coin.
Many more young women than men use indoor tanning beds, which are directly linked to dangerous, excessive UV (ultraviolet) ray skin exposure.
As for why the numbers go up for men as they age, overall men spend more time outdoors. Also, women typically spend more time concentrating on checking and protecting their skin. Particularly, the areas that are more prone to sun exposure, such as the face, ears and hands.
And while it may be a stereotype, it’s still true. Women simply visit their doctors more often than men. When considering the number of decades in the average lifetime, it’s not too hard to connect the dots.
Again, these are pure hypotheses. But there is an element of common sense within them that is difficult to ignore.
We highly recommend reading the ACS report in its entirety. It, along with additional useful information, can be accessed simply by clicking on the cited links below.
2018 Projected U.S. Melanoma Incidence
* Additional source article information: Cancer.org, Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov