Cutaneous malignant melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer and a significant cause of death worldwide. Sweden, with a population of approximately 10 million, has one of the highest incidence rates of melanoma. During the past 10 years, the incidence of melanoma in Sweden has increased by almost 6% annually. In 2012, there were 3343 new cases of invasive melanoma, and 2620 new cases of in situ melanoma reported in Sweden.
Over 150.000 excisions of melanocytic lesions are performed on approximately 100.000 individuals each year in order to identify the number of melanomas above. The cost of these excisions exceeds 30 million euros annually. The total cost for skin cancer care in Sweden was estimated at 177,6 million euros and malignant melanoma accounts for more than 50 % of these figures.
Nearly 85 percent of all patients with melanoma are cured thanks to early detection and control of the disease. Today, about 35.000 individuals with the diagnosis of melanoma are living in Sweden.