Melanoma Mortality Rate Continues Decline Fueled by Treatment Advances

By Cody Barnett, MPH, MRA Director of Communications & Patient Engagement | 26 January 2022 | News, Prevention, Science, Treatment

Estimated Cases of Melanoma In 2022

Each January, the American Cancer Society (ACS) releases updated estimates about trends in new cancer cases and deaths in its annual report, Cancer Facts and Figures. This report highlights the estimated incidence (number of new cases), prevalence (number of people alive today with a history of cancer), and survival statistics for cancer in the United States. Importantly, the report tracks trends over time – allowing us to monitor the impact of improvements to prevention and treatment approaches.

2022 Melanoma Facts and Figures:

  • In 2022 in the US, an estimated 99,780 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed, affecting 57,180 men and 42,600 women; and
  • In 2022 in the US, an estimated 7,650 deaths from melanoma are expected, comprised of 5,080 men and 2,570 women. 

This data is incredibly useful for understanding how rates of melanoma shift over time and how melanoma research and new treatment options – such as advances in immunotherapy and targeted therapy – are improving patient survival and outcomes across the entire population, not just in clinical trials. 

Over the last five years of available data (2015 – 2019):

  • Deaths due to melanoma dropped steeply by about 4% per year due to advances in melanoma treatment.
  • Rates of melanoma have decreased in individuals younger than age 50 by about 1% per year and have stabilized in adults 50 years of age and older.

These data suggest that the numerous new treatments for melanoma approved over the last decade appear to be improving survival across the population. However, with an estimated 7,650 deaths this year from melanoma, more research is still urgently needed to develop new treatment options that benefit all patients. This is particularly true for patients facing rare melanoma subtypes and those whose disease is advancing despite available treatments. 

Understanding the urgent need for new melanoma treatments, MRA has invested more than 90% of its research funding to date into the discovery and development of new treatment options, including over 215 unique treatment approaches.  

The new report from shows that melanoma is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. It also supports MRA’s current scientific priorities of increased focus on prevention and early detection research, treatment resistance, and research into rare melanomas.