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1st May 2019

Melanoma Statistics

Did you know that Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world?

It is estimated that in 2019, it will remain the 4th most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia and the 9th most common cause of death from cancer. [2]

Due to such a high skin cancer rate, Australians were amongst the first in the world to be aware of the dangers of sunbathing and harmful UV rays and to understand the consequences of poor sun safety practice.

In 1981, Cancer Council launched the Slip! Slop! Slap! campaign which took to people’s screens and became an internationally recognised sun protection campaign at a time when melanoma rates were increasing.[3]

Sun protection attitudes and behaviours dramatically shifted during the campaign; melanoma rates in the under 40s age group decreased and melanoma rates in the over 60s are expected to decrease over the next decade. Since the campaign’s inception, Seek and Slide have been added to the messaging to encompass all 5 recommended sun protection measures.

Through necessity, Australia has become a global leader in skin cancer research, prevention, detection and treatment. At SunSense we are fiercely proud of our heritage, having been developed and manufactured in Australia by trusted scientists for over 30 years.

Most sunscreens are regulated as therapeutic goods in Australia, which goes to show how serious Australians are about sun protection and protecting their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays on a daily basis.[4] This is the behaviour which we want to encourage people in the UK to practice as the sun is often strong enough to burn your skin here – even on a cloudy day.[5]

UK deaths from melanoma have increased by 156% since the early 1970s[6], so whilst we may not see as much sun as Australia, skin cancer is still a very real risk.

[1] Melanoma Institute Australia, Melanoma Facts and Statistics (Internet) 2019 (cited 2019 April 8) Available from:

[2] Australian Government Cancer Australia, Melanoma of the skin statistics (Internet) 2019 (cited 2019 April 8) Available from:

[3] Sun Smart, Slip! Slop! Slap! Original SunSmart Campaign (Internet) 2019 (cited 2019 April 8) Available from:

[4] Australian Government Department of Health, Sunscreens (Internet) 2019 (cited 2019 April 8) Available from:

[5] Cancer Research UK, Am I at risk of sunburn? (Internet) 2017 (cited 2019 April 8) Available from:

[6]  Cancer Research UK. Skin cancer incidence statistics [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2017 Mar 20]. Available from:


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