Approximately 450 000 Australians are treated for skin cancer each year. It kills 1600 Australians every year of which 1 200 are due to melanoma.

►The majority of these deaths are preventable. Malignant melanoma is a deadly skin cancer if not treated early, and because it spreads rapidly, accounts for 1200 of these annual deaths.

►The remaining 400 deaths result from the more common types of cancer when they have grown too large and/or have spread throughout the body.

Many hundreds of Australians need not die every year.

►Exposure to sunlight especially in childhood and adolescence is the number one factor in causing skin cancer.
►A history of severe sunburn increases the risk of developing melanoma, and long-term sun exposure increases the risks of both non-melanoma skin cancer and melanoma.
►Fair skinned Australians are in the highest risk group of developing skin cancers, but Australians with olive complexions are certainly not immune to the problem.

Other statistics:
►Residents of Queensland, Western Australia, NSW and Tasmania face the highest risk of developing Melanoma, followed by ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Northern Territory.
►Males are marginally more likely to develop Melanoma than females in Australia, but for both sexes this equals approximately 10% of all newly diagnosed cancers each year.
►The incidence of newly diagnosed Melanoma is rising worldwide