Melanoma is often referred to as Australia’s cancer. We have the highest rate of melanoma in the world with more than 12,500 new cases diagnosed each year.
Melanoma is usually caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. The likelihood of melanoma increases with episodes of sunburn, especially during childhood.
There are also genetic and skin-type factors which increase the risk of melanoma development, including:
- increased numbers of unusual moles
- depressed immune systems
- a family history of melanoma in a first degree relative
- fair skin, a tendency to burn rather than tan, freckles, light eye colour, light or red hair colour
- a previous melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer.
For further information about the causes, detection and prevention of melanoma, please refer to the following links