Australia’s Skin Cancer Epidemic

Australia is the skin cancer capital of the world.

Two out of every three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer.

It is the most common cancer affecting young Australians.

Early diagnosis has a dramatic and critical impact on successful treatment because skin cancers can grow rapidly.

If a melanoma on the skin’s surface is treated, you have a better than 95% chance of a normal life span. But, if not diagnosed and treated, that same melanoma can, in only a few months, grow down into the skin just 4mm – it is then odds-on that you will die within 5 years.

Every day, 6 Australians die from skin cancer.

Quite aside from the human cost, the cost to the Australian health system is over $1 billion a year; and to the Australian economy in lost productivity over $2 billion a year.


Skin specialist services in SA and NT are limited or non-existent outside of Adelaide.

There are no public funded skin cancer screening programs.

There are 39 dermatologists in SA/NT – all live and have their principal practices in Adelaide.

If a Darwin resident has a skin abnormality that they are worried about examined in Adelaide, the cost of time off work, travel, accommodation, and medical costs not covered by insurance is a minimum of $1,500.

For Australia’s indigenous population, who make up a third of the Northern Territory’s population and earn just $270 per week, skin cancer screening and/or treatment are simply out of reach.

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