Skin Cancer Surveillance
In Australia, every year:
- Skin cancers account for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers.
- 2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.
- Around 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers. In 2007, 448 people died of the disease.
- More than 10,300 people are treated for melanoma, with 1279 people dying in 2007 alone.
- Melanoma is the most common cancer in people aged 15-24 years.
- Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (eg BCCs and SCCs), melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in both women and men.
- Australia has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world, at nearly four times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.
- The rate of melanoma incidence in women has risen by an average of 0.7% a year between 1993 and 2003 – a total increase of 6.8% over this decade. For men, the rate has risen by 1.7% a year, a total of 18.7% over the same period.
- The 5 year relative survival rate for melanoma is 90% for Australian men and 95% for Australian women.
- Skin cancer is the most expensive cancer. In 2001, it was estimated the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer cost $264 million and melanoma $30 million.
- GP consultations to treat non-melanoma skin cancer increased by 14% between 1998-2000 and 2005-2007 – from around 836,500 to 950,000 visits each year.
At our specialised skin clinic sessions, we offer total body skin examination, in a completely private dermatoscopy suite.
Many years of skin cancer surveillance experience means that early skin cancers are more likely to be picked up sooner.
Digital photography offered by Ballarat Family Medical Centre makes the diagnosis of early skin cancer more likely.
Who is at risk of melanoma?
High-risk groups include those with:
- A personal or family history of melanoma
- A typical moles (unusual looking moles)
- A large number of moles
- A history of sunburn and fair skin
- An organ transplant, eg. a kidney transplant
- People who have a weakened immune system, eg. people taking drugs to suppress their immune system
- Any combination of these risk factors.