Melanoma

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Winning the Battle Against Melanoma

Skin cancers are the most common cancers. Fortunately, only 5 percent of skin cancers are melanomas. However, because melanoma is more aggressive and deadly than other varieties of skin cancer, if it's not diagnosed and treated early, it can spread rapidly to other organs.

Statistics Are Abstract; Lives Aren’t

Kathy Sparks, Melanoma Survivor Kathy Sparks was first diagnosed with melanoma in 2005. Four years later her disease had progressed to stage IV. But thanks to a clinical trial in 2009, Kathy’s melanoma is now in partial remission. Read more about Kathy.

If you have melanoma, where you choose to go for initial treatment has a significant impact on the likelihood of survival. SCCA skin cancer and melanoma specialists are among the best in the world, with access to the latest therapies and innovative treatments, including vaccine clinical trials, gene therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. As you can see below, patients treated by SCCA have high five-year survival rates compared to patients treated at other hospitals and treatment centers. 

Melanoma Survival Rates

Below are the five-year survival rates for melanoma patients treated by SCCA compared to patients who were treated for melanoma elsewhere. This information was collected by the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) for patients who were diagnosed and treated between 2003 and 2005 and then followed for five years. We're only showing survival rates for patients diagnosed with stage 0, stage I, stage II, and stage III melanoma. There were not enough patients who were first diagnosed and treated at SCCA with stage IV melanoma to provide meaningful results.

We've used the latest data set where possible. For stage 0, II, and III melanoma, the 2003-2004 data set did not provide statistically accurate results, so we've used the 1998-2002 data set instead. There were not enough SCCA patients diagnosed with stage IV melanoma between 1998 and 2002 or between 2003 and 2004 to provide statistically accurate results.

Stage 0 Melanoma

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 97 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by yellow line. Their combined five-year survival rate was 91 percent.

Stage I Melanoma

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 96 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their combined five-year survival rate was 91 percent.

Stage II Melanoma

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 78 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rates was 66 percent.
  • Note: While the SCCA survival rates appear to be better for stage II melanoma, the data could not be statistically validated.

Stage III Melanoma

  • SCCA patients are represented by the green line. Their five-year survival rate was 64 percent from the time they were first diagnosed by SCCA. Note that only patients who received all of their care from SCCA are included.
  • Patients from the other types of treatment centers—Community Cancer Centers, Comprehensive Community Cancer Centers, and Academic/Research Hospitals—are represented by the yellow line. Their five-year survival rate was 55 percent.

The NCDB tracks the outcomes of 70 percent of all newly diagnosed cancer in the United States from more than 1,500 commission-accredited cancer programs. It has been collecting data from hospital cancer registries since 1989 and now has almost 29 million records. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Data Collection Methodology