Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Please join the AACR in supporting skin cancer and melanoma research.
Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

There are several different types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell skin cancer, and squamous cell skin cancer. 

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is a very common cancer in the United States, with more than 5 million people diagnosed each year. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are nonmelanoma skin cancers, are the most common types of skin cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body. 

Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. It is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body than the more common forms of skin cancer.

According to estimates made from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, 106,110 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma and nearly 7,180 people will die of the disease in 2020. 

Melanoma is more common in men than women and among individuals of fair complexion. Unusual moles, exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma.

In addition to the skin, melanoma may also occur in mucous membranes – thin, moist layers of tissue that cover surfaces such as the lips – or in the eye, which is called ocular or uveal melanoma.

What the AACR Is Currently Doing in This Area

The AACR was pleased to recognize several researchers for their work in the field of melanoma in 2020: 

  • AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery Grant: Willy Hugo, PhD, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • AACR Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award: Kaysia Ludford, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • AACR-The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research “Science of the Patient” (SOP) Grant: Liuqing Yang, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all forms of cancer.