Ocean County ranked first in the state for mel-anoma-related deaths with an average of 302 from 2000 through 2010, the latest year of data available from the New Jersey Cancer Registry. Monmouth County ranked third with an average of 239 deaths, according to the registry, which collects, by law, cancer data from doctors and hospitals about cancer-stricken residents in each county.
Malignant melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, is malignancy of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes), located predominantly in the skin, but also found in the eyes, ears, gastrointestinal tract, and oral and genital mucous membranes. Important facts about malignant melanoma include:
- Melanoma is preventable
- Melanoma is curable in early stages through annual skin cancer screenings by a dermatologist
Regular full skin cancer screenings increase awareness of skin cancers.
- 75% of all skin cancer deaths are from melanoma
- One American dies from melanoma every hour
- Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old
- Research from 2004 shows an estimated total direct cost associated with treatment of melanoma was $291 million
- 5-year survival rate – if detected and treated before it reaches the lymph nodes – 98%
- 5-year survival rate for regional (lymph nodes) stage melanomas – 62%
- 5-year survival rate for distant (other organs/lymph nodes) stage melanomas – 15%