The main risk factor for melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is sun exposure. 

In 2020, there were over 300 thousand new cases of melanoma worldwide, contributing to 57 thousand deaths. 

Close to one third of those cases were from North America, where the rate of new cases is 14/100,000 for women and 18/100,000 for men. 

Using current rates with estimates of population growth and aging, researchers predict that new cases of melanoma will rise to over 500,000 with deaths close to 100 thousand annually around the world, in 20 years. 

Luckily, frequent suncreen application and covering with clothing and hats can help mitigate risk. 

If you notice a new skin lesion that is larger than a half centimeter, has irregular borders, or lots of color variation, ask your doctor to take a look.