Melanoma remains australia’s ‘national cancer’ with 14,000 diagnosed each year electricity vs gas heating costs


The online risk predictor asks a range of select questions, including where a person lives, their age, ancestry, their level of health insurance or coverage, what they believe their risk level to be and how many moles they have. They are then placed into one of five categories, based on their answers, from "very much below average risk" to "very much above average risk."

"We tested the risk predictor prior to its launch, and those tests indicated that it is about 70% accurate," said Professor David Whiteman of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland, the online risk predictor‘s lead researcher. "This is much higher than other tools used to assess risk of breast and bowel cancer."

Johnson is one of 14,000 Australians who will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer this year. Nearly 2,000 Australians are expected to die from it each year, based on 2016 data. According to Cancer Council Australia, two out of three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70.

Australia and New Zealand have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, according to the largest international melanoma foundation, the Texas-based AIM at Melanoma. Both countries have more than double the incidence rates found in North America.

There are multiple forms of skin cancer, named according to the skin cell where the cancer develops: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma ("carcinoma" is another word for cancer) and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are often grouped together and called "common" skin cancers, and they are less dangerous than melanomas.

According to Cancer Council Australia, two out of three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70. This is despite concerted efforts by the Australian government and community-based organizations to change attitudes to the desirability of being a "bronzed Aussie."

Efforts include the Slip, Slop, Slap campaign, which urges people to "slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat." It was launched by the then Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria in 1981, when evidence of the link between UV radiation and skin cancer was mounting, and has been one of Australia’s most successful community health campaigns.

However, the study found that rates of melanoma are still increasing in people over the age of 50. And despite the fall in average melanoma rates per 100,000 people, the overall number of invasive melanomas diagnosed in Australia is still rising — with very high per capita rates.

Two years later, a lump on his neck turned out to be another melanoma. Howle underwent surgery and took part in a medical trial, but in 2016, the cancer returned — this time in his liver. "It was absolutely terrifying," he said. With another surgery, the cancer was removed, but Howle now goes for checks every three months.

Australian states and territories began banning commercial solariums from 2014, but there have been reports of an illegal solarium industry springing up, with online classifieds used to advertise them. A solarium is a room or bed fitted with sunlamps or sunbeds that can be used to develop an artificial tan. The UV radiation they emit increases the risk of developing skin cancer.