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Skin Cancer in the ACT

Prevention » SunSmart » Skin Cancer in Australia » Skin Cancer in the ACT

Skin Cancer in the ACT

Cancer in the ACT Incidence and Mortality 2011 (number 56) reported melanoma of the skin as the third most common diagnosed cancer in both males and females in the ACT. According to recent cancer statistics (2004 to 2008), 1 in 15 males and 1 in 25 females in the ACT developed melanoma before the age of 85 years.

A significant difference in mortality rates between males and females was also recorded, with females being lower. This may be due to the tendency of men tending to seek medical attention in the later course of the disease more then women, therefore decreasing their chances of survival. Of the 71 recorded melanoma deaths in the ACT between 2004 and 2008, 53 (or 75%) were males. Of these male deaths, over 80% occurred in men over the age of 45.  

The cumul risk to 75 years of dying from melanoma was one in 161 males and one in 779 females in the ACT  (with one in 96 males and one in 395 females in the ACT before the age of 85 years old). As for most cancers, incidence and mortality of melanoma increased with age. Diagnosis of melanoma before the age of 20 is uncommon, with five (5) cases recorded in the ACT between 2004-2008. Incidence rates (per 100,000) for melanoma in the ACT were higher amongst females up until the age of 45, however after 45, there is a swing and male incident rates become higher, especially with older age.  

The incidence rates for males and females in the ACT appeared to decrease slightly from 2005 to 2008, but it is too early to determine statistical significance. 

Cases of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC) are not routinely reported in the ACT cancer registry (or in most states) however figures are obtained from population based surveys. In 2014 there were close to 1 million cases (number of paid Medicare services, not people) of non melanoma skin cancers treated each year in Australia, this figure is set to climb further before it declines.

The ACT Chief Health Officer's Report (2016) lists melanoma skin cancer as the 3rd most diagnosed cancer among males and females. The average number of melanomas diagnosed in Canberra each year between 2009-2013 was 133. 80 (males) and 53 (females).