It may be leading into winter, but after a long hot summer, it’s a good time to shed some light on this serious skin cancer that affects so many of us living under the Australian sun.

Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world. In fact, according to the Cancer Council Australia, melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australian men and women, with an estimated 16,221 new cases expected to be diagnosed in 2024 alone.

Here are some more sobering statistics to really put things into perspective:

  • In 2020, there were 16,178 new cases of melanoma diagnosed in Australia, accounting for 10% of all new cancer cases.
  • Melanoma incidence rates in Australia are among the highest in the world, with rates increasing by around 2% per year over the past 40 years.
  • It’s estimated that about 1 in 17 Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma by the age of 85.
  • Sadly, around 1,305 Australians are expected to die from melanoma in 2024.

Now, we know those numbers can be scary, but there’s something you can do about it. It is reported that most melanomas are caused by prolonged and repeated exposure to UV radiation in sunlight. We know that there are many campaigns about sun safety, but these statistics really emphasise why this is so necessary. Be sun safe EVERY day, not just the days you are heading to the beach or sport outside. Sun safety needs to be a part of your daily routine and lifestyle.

One more stat (sorry it’s another startling one), but sometimes this information is important to stay informed to take action for your health: Melanoma is the most common cancer in young Australians (20–39 year olds) but the incidence for people over 60 is also high and increasing.

If you’re not sure where to start with finding out more, the Cancer Council Australia has some great resources on their website, and we have provided some on this website too about how to do a self-skin check as well as information on other more common skin cancers BCC and SCC’s.

One final thing, take a moment in your day to book a skin check. It’s a very small amount of time and investment in your health, especially when you consider the impact that early detection can have on your prognosis.

Book that skin check

and slap on some sunscreen, and stay sun safe every day. Your skin will thank you for it.


  1. Cancer Council Australia. (2024). Skin cancer statistics
  2. Melanoma Patient Australia, Melanoma Facts – Melanoma Patients Australia