Research Outline

Skin Cancer and Melanoma: China


To understand the skin cancer and melanoma market in China, including trends, growth rates, statistics, and other data.

Early Findings


  • Because "fair skin and increased exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun are among the most substantial risk factors for skin cancer development", rates of melanoma and skin cancer are increasing in China.
  • Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common forms of skin cancer amongst the Chinese population.
  • In 2018, China recorded 7,379 new cases of melanoma, with a cumulative risk of .04 percent.
  • Of those diagnosed with melanoma in China in 2018, 3,766 died as a result.
  • The Asia-Pacific region has the fastest-growing skin cancer market, with China, Japan, and Australia being the major contributors.
  • "The incidence of skin cancer per 100,000 population is...11-12 cases in China."
  • In China, about 80 percent of diagnosed cases of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, 16 percent are squamous cell carcinoma, and four percent are melanoma.


  • In one study conducted during the Beijing Olympics, under 50 percent of participants wore protective clothing, despite being aware of the risk UV light posed on their risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer. Additionally, fewer than 50 percent of those surveyed wore sunglasses, and only 58.8 percent used sunscreen.
  • While local governments in China extend money for skin cancer treatment, they typically do not do the same for preventative measures. However, "since 2004, the central government has worked to increase cancer prevention funding".
  • Merck and Co. recently released China's first immuno-oncology drug approved in China for the treatment of advanced melanoma: Keytruda. The medication has been approved "for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma after 1 prior line of therapy".