Skin cancer. More dangerous than driving the ute to work

Skin cancer is our country’s silent killer. Last year, more Australians died from skin cancer than from traffic or transport accidents. That’s just one of the staggering statistics about a condition which affects two in three Australians before the age of 70. In this section, we’ll show you some more statistics that might surprise you. The more you learn about the effects and prevalence of skin cancer, the more you’ll understand how important it is to protect yourself from the sun’s UV rays.

Every year, in Australia:

  • Skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly-diagnosed cancers.
  • Between 95 and 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to the sun.
  • GPs have almost 1 million patient consultations per year for skin cancer.
  • The incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.

Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world


Men are more at risk

Men have a 1 in 14 risk of being diagnosed with melanoma before the age of 85; whereas women have a 1 in 21 chance.

Melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australians aged 15 -24 years, and accounts for 15% of all cancers in this age group.

Whilst melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and results in the highest percentage of skin cancer deaths, squamous cell skin cancer still causes more than 600 deaths in Australia each year.

SunSmart App

UV levels change throughout the day, so be sure to check the UV forecast for where you are working. An easy way to do this is to download the SunSmart app for iOS | Android | Samsung to keep track of the UV levels via your smartphone.