On average, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, and more than 750,000 people will be treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia each year.1 Interestingly, non-melanoma skin cancer is more common in men, with almost double the likelihood of diagnosis in comparison to women.
Melanoma is a life-threatening cancer and is the third most common cancer in Australians. In 2013, a huge 12,744 Australians were diagnosed with melanoma.2
Every year, in Australia:
- General practitioners have over 1 million patient consultations per year purely for skin cancer.
- Skin cancers are around 80% of all newly found cancers.
- Most skin cancers are caused by unprotected exposure to the sun.
- The incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.3
Sadly, in 2014, 2067 people perished from skin cancer in Australia, 1467 from melanoma and 600 from non-melanoma skin cancers. The survival rate for melanoma is 88% for men and 93% for women in Australia and the survival rate for non-melanoma skin cancer is 68% for men and 74% for women in Australia.4
Sunburn causes 95% of melanomas, the deadliest form of skin cancer however the good news is, there are many ways you can prevent yourself from forming skin cancer, and prevent is best!
For best protection, a combination of sun protection is required when exposed to UV light:
- Wear sun-protective clothing – that covers as much skin as possible.
- Apply broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and re-apply two hours afterwards.
- Wear a wide brimmed hat – that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
- Seek shade.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Be extra cautious in the middle of the day when UV levels are most intense.5