How can you reduce the impact of melanoma?

Did you know that more Australians died from melanoma than road accidents in 2021?

A new, landmark report from Melanoma Institute Australia has found that melanoma rates are rising. It estimates that without critical action, by 2030 a further 205,000 Australians will be diagnosed with melanoma and 18,000 will die from the disease within five years of diagnosis.

The State of The Nation report predicts the economic cost to be $8.7 billion.

It provided a roadmap towards the Institute’s goal of zero deaths from melanoma – a vision shared by the National Skin Cancer Centres.

“When it comes to a disease as deadly as melanoma, early detection through regular full-body skin cancer checks is the best defence,” says Skin Cancer Doctor James Millsom.

“Our mission is to detect skin cancers in the early stages to minimise complex, invasive, and expensive treatments, and ultimately save lives.”

To read the recent State of the Nation report, click here.

The report’s roadmap includes the implementation of a national melanoma prevention and awareness strategy, investment in research, improved sun safety in schools and on sporting fields, better access to trained professionals in skin cancer diagnosis, and improvements in early detection and targeted screening.

That’s why experts recommend an annual head-to-toe skin cancer check with a qualified Skin Cancer Doctor, through whom patients can access dedicated skin cancer care without a GP referral or waiting to see a specialist dermatologist who can often be very expensive.

Chances of successful treatment are greatly improved by picking up small skin changes early through regular skin cancer checks; in fact, 99 per cent of skin cancers are curable if detected and treated early.

“Skin cancer can grow very fast, come in various shapes and colours, and sometimes show no symptoms until the advanced stage,” says Dr Millsom.

“The earlier we detect it, the higher the chances of successful treatment.”