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Some simple facts about Melanoma in Australia:

  • Australia, (QLD being the worst in Australia), has the highest incidence of melanoma in the world, with over 10,430 new cases being identified each year1.
  • Over 1,450 people die from melanoma in Australia each year.
  • Melanoma is the second fastest growing cancer in Australian with a doubling of the proportion of Australians diagnosed with melanoma in the last two decades.
  • Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australia for both men and women.
  • In 2004 it was estimated that there were more than 110,000 Australians living with melanoma with more recent numbers expected to be even higher.
  • Melanoma is a young person’s disease – being the most common form of cancer in Australia for people aged between 15 – 44 years2.
  • Cancer costs Australia $3.8 billion dollars per year in direct health system costs. Alarmingly, less than 1% ($30 million) of this is being spent on treating melanoma.
  • Early melanoma is often curable, whilst later stages are typically fatal.
  • In addition to the often severe physical effects associated with melanoma treatment, both patients and carers report feelings of widespread unmet needs in relation to health information, psychological issues, especially emotional support, and melanoma-specific issues3,4. For example, some melanoma patients still receive a lymphedema breast cancer education DVD after having lymphatic excision surgery for melanoma.
  • Despite the prominence and severity of melanoma to everyday Australian families, there is a notable lack of support, information and advocacy to represent the primary needs of melanoma patients at a national level in Australia.

MPA seeks to fill this gap!

squamous cell carcinoma, basal call carcinoma, melanoma patient support, skin cancer Australia

[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIWH). Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2008 and 2010. Cancer Series #60 Canberra, AIHW, 2008 and 2010
[2] http://www.cancer.org.au/aboutcancer/FactsFigures.htm – date accessed 23-06-2011.

[3] Bonevski B, Sanson-Fisher R, Hersey P, Paul C, Foot G. Assessing the perceived needs of patients attending an outpatient melanoma clinic. J Psychosoc Oncol 1999 17:101-118.

[4] Stowers M, Williams M Improving the cancer patient journey: the iMPAct of a regional cancer co-ordination model. Aust J Cancer Nurs 2008 and BSWRICS Supportive Care Strategic Plan 2009-2012.

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