Melanoma facts and statistics

Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world, and melanoma is often referred to as 'Australia's national cancer'. 

  • In 2019, it is expected that there will be 15,229 diagnoses of melanoma of the skin - close to one diagnosis every half hour
  • Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australian men, after prostate and colorectal cancer
  • Melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australian women, after breast and colorectal cancer
  • Melanoma is the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39-year-old Australians
  • In 2019, it is predicted that there will be 1,726 deaths from melanoma of the skin - that is one Australian every five hours

Research is making a difference

  • Over the past five years, the use of surgery plus additional treatments has significantly extended life expectancy in people with advanced disease (where the melanoma has spread to other organs). These treatments include targeted therapies (modifying the actions of specific genes) and immunotherapies (modifying the actions of the immune system). Radiotherapy can also reduce recurrence rates.
  • In a recent MIA-led trial, researchers have made a major breakthrough by tripling the life expectancy for some advanced melanoma patients. However many others are not responding to new treatments and further research is vital.



(2019) Retrieved 29 October 2019, from