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Last Updated: 02/06/19


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The three major types of skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma, the highly curable basal cell carcinoma, and the more serious malignant melanoma. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are by far the most common and are estimated to occur in 3.3 million individuals in the United States with approximately 80% of these cases being basal cell carcinoma. For melanoma, over 96,480 individuals in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease with an estimated 7,230 deaths in 2019. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays appears to be the most important environmental factor involved in the development of skin cancer. Currently, the Skin SPORE program is focused predominantly on melanoma research activities but includes projects in other skin cancer types, such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.