Department of Health

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that usually occurs on parts of the body that have been overexposed to the sun (Cancer Council Victoria 2018). 

Rare melanomas can occur inside the eye or in parts of the skin or body that have never been exposed to the sun.

Incidence

Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world. 

In Victoria in 2017, there were 2,993 cases of melanoma. In the same year, there were 270 deaths due to the disease (Cancer Council Victoria 2018). 

While most Victorians (90 per cent) diagnosed with cutaneous (skin) melanoma had only a single primary lesion, 8 per cent of Victorians had two melanomas and 2 per cent had three or more primary lesions. Twenty Victorians had 10 or more separate primary melanomas (Cancer Council Victoria 2018). 

In both men and women, melanoma incidence rates increase with age, starting at around 20, with rates higher in women between the ages of 20 and 50 years (see figure below). 

At 50 years, rates are almost equal, but thereafter male rates increase more rapidly to become twice those for females by 80 years (Cancer Council Victoria 2018). 

Graph shows that melanoma occurs roughly equally in men and women up until the age of 50, when incidence in males increases rapidly. Incidence in females rises, but not so dramatically
 Figure 1 shows the age-specific incidence rates for melanoma for Victorian men and women 2014–16. 

Source: Cancer Council of Victoria 2018

Survival rates

Overall, five-year survival from melanoma has increased from 83 per cent to 91 per cent over the period 1982–86 to 2012–16 (Cancer Council Victoria 2018).

Increasing sun protection and early detection are key to further increasing overall survival from melanoma.

Find out more

For more information about melanoma in Victoria, please visit: Cancer in Victoria: Statistics and Trends (PDF) on the Cancer Council Victoria website.

The Victorian Population Health Survey 2016 has a section on cancer. 

References 

Cancer Council Victoria 2018 Cancer in Victoria: Statistics and Trends (PDF) Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne. 

Non-communicable disease articles

Cancer

There are 95 new diagnoses of cancer each day in our state.

Melanoma

Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world.

Non-melanoma skin cancer

Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most commonly treated cancer in Australia, placing a substantial cost burden on the health system

Heart disease

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in Australia and Victoria.

Stroke

Stroke can cause speech problems and other symptoms, such as difficulties with swallowing, vision and thinking.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a common chronic condition characterised by high sugar levels.

Musculoskeletal conditions

Arthritis is a large contributor to illness, pain and disability.

 

Reviewed 04 August 2022

Health.vic

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