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The facts about Melanoma

  • Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer
  • In 2019 it is estimated that 15,229 Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma and more than 1,725 are expected to die from advanced melanoma
  • One person every five hours will die from melanoma in Australia
  • Melanoma makes up 2% of all skin cancers, but is responsible for 75% of skin cancer deaths
  • If detected early more than 90% of melanoma cases can be successfully treated with surgery
  • Australia and New Zealand have the highest melanoma rates in the world
  • Melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians (15–39 year olds) but incidence for people over 60 is also high and increasing
  • 1 in 17 Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma before the age of 85
  • Most melanomas are caused by prolonged and repeated exposure to UV radiation in sunlight
  • Melanoma rates doubled in the 20 years from 1986–2006 and continue to rise
  • Melanoma is projected to become the third most common cancer in Australia by the year 2020, replacing lung cancer, bowel cancer, breast and prostate cancer (AIHW incidence projections)
  • Recent treatment developments provide genuine hope for those with melanoma.

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