Australian skin cancer facts

Australian skin cancer facts:

  • Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70.
  • Melanoma is the most common cancer in people aged 15-44 years.
  • Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, nearly four times that of the US, the UK and Canada.
Over 95% of skin cancers can be cured if treated early. You are at risk of developing skin cancer if:
  • You or a family member have had skin cancer in the past.
  • You have a large number of moles on your skin.
  • You have a skin type that burns easily.
  • You have a history of sunburns.
  • You have spent a lot of time outdoors, unprotected.
  • You have actively tanned or used solariums.

Australian skin cancer facts

Skin cancers most commonly present as one of the following three types:


Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer which may appear suddenly or slowly develop from an existing mole. They vary in size, colour or shape and may standout or blend in with other spots on the skin.

SCC – Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinomas commonly occur on areas of skin that have had a long history of sun exposure, such as the face, scalp and hands. They usually begin as scaly, red spots, which may later develop into tender, thick, dry lumps in more advanced cases.

BCC – Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma(BCC), are the most common type of non Melanoma skin cancer and frequently appear as flat or raised pink shiny spots mostly on the head and neck, chest or back.