The Importance of a Skin Check

It is estimated that more than 18,200 people were diagnosed with melanoma in 2023. The average age at diagnosis is 65 years old. Melanoma is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, and it is estimated that one in 17 people will be diagnosed by the time they are 85.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

Research reveals that a minimum of 2 in 3 Australians will face a skin cancer diagnosis during their lifetime, with a notably higher risk observed among men than women. Among males, the likelihood of developing at least one non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) stands at 73%, while for females, it’s at 65%. Moreover, the age-standardised incidence rate for melanoma is notably higher in men, reaching 81, compared to 52 in women. Alarmingly, 66% of Australians who lose their lives to skin cancer are men.

Further, occupational exposures are linked to an estimated 200 melanomas and 34,000 non-melanoma skin cancers annually in Australia. Studies also reveal significant disparities: outdoor workers face nearly double the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) compared to indoor workers, while basal cell carcinoma (BCC) risk increases by almost 1.5 times.

Taking proactive measures is paramount. The Cancer Council strongly advocates for adults to routinely examine their skin and moles every three months. Any changes in size, shape, or colour should prompt an immediate visit to your GP. For individuals at risk, an annual examination by a trained doctor is recommended.

For further information on Skin cancer statistics and issues, please click here. All stats and figures originated from The Cancer Council NSW.