Melanoma skin cancer in Australia

Melanoma skin cancer incorporates ICD–10 cancer code C43.Melanoma skin cancer incorporates ICD–10 cancer code C43.

New cases of melanoma skin cancer

Melanoma skin cancer was the 4th most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2013. It is estimated that it will remain the 4th most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2017.

In 2013, there were 12,744 new cases of melanoma skin cancer diagnosed in Australia (7,513 males and 5,232 females). In 2017, it is estimated that 13,941 new cases of melanoma skin cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (8,392 males and 5,549 females).

In 2013, the age–standardised incidence rate was 50 cases per 100,000 persons (62 for males and 40 for females). In 2017, it is estimated that the age–standardised incidence rate will be 50 cases per 100,000 persons (62 for males and 39 for females). The incidence rate of melanoma skin cancer will generally increase with age.

In 2017, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 17 (1 in 13 males and 1 in 23 females).

The number of new cases of melanoma skin cancer diagnosed increased from 3,527 (1,733 males and 1,794 females) in 1982 to 12,744 in 2013. Over the same period, the age–standardised incidence rate increased from 27 cases per 100,000 persons (28 for males and 26 for females) in 1982 to 50 cases per 100,000 persons in 2013 .

Estimated most common cancers diagnosed in 2017

Cancer type New cases 2017 % of all new cancers 2017
Breast 17,730 13.2
Breast (among females) 17,586 28.4
Colorectal (bowel) 16,682 12.4
Prostate (among males) 16,665 23.1
Melanoma 13,941 10.4
Lung 12,434 9.3

Deaths from melanoma skin cancer

In 2014, melanoma skin cancer was the 10th leading cause of cancer deaths in Australia. It is estimated that it will become the 8th most common cause of death from cancer in 2017.

In 2014, there were 1,467 deaths from melanoma skin cancer in Australia (988 males and 479 females). In 2017, it is estimated that this will increase to 1,839 deaths (1,280 males and 559 females).

In 2014, the age–standardised mortality rate was 5.5 deaths per 100,000 persons (8.1 for males and 3.3 for females). In 2017, it is estimated that the age–standardised mortality rate will increase to 6.3 deaths per 100,000 persons (9.5 for males and 3.6 for females). The mortality rate of melanoma skin cancer will generally increase with age.

In 2017, it is estimated that the risk of an individual dying from melanoma skin cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 119 (1 in 77 males and 1 in 227 females).

The number of deaths from melanoma skin cancer increased from 315 (178 males and 137 females) in 1968 to 1,467 in 2014. Over the same period, the age–standardised mortality rate increased from 3.3 deaths per 100,000 persons (3.9 for males and 2.8 for females) in 1968 to 5.5 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2014.

Estimated age-specific incidence and mortality rates for melanoma skin cancer, by sex, 2017

This line chart presents the estimated age-specific incidence (solid line) and mortality (dashed line) rates of melanoma of the skin for males (blue), females (purple) and persons (green) in 2017. The age-specific incidence and mortality rates are shown on the primary (left) y-axis, with 5-year age groups from ages 0–4 to 85+ shown on the x-axis.

Source: AIHW [6].

Age-standardised incidence rates for melanoma skin cancer 1982–2013 and age-standardised mortality rates for melanoma skin cancer 1968–2014, by sex

This line chart presents the estimated age-standardised incidence (solid line) and mortality (dashed line) rates (per 100,000) of melanoma of the skin for males (blue), females (purple) and persons (green) over the period 1982–2013 for incidence and 1968–2014 for mortality. The age standardised incidence and mortality rates, expressed per 100,000 persons, are shown on the primary (left) y-axis. Years from 1968 to 2014 are presented on the x-axis.

Source: AIHW [6].

The survivorship population is measured using prevalence data. Prevalence refers to the number of people alive who have previously been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer.

In 2009–2013, individuals diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer had a 90% chance (88% for males and 93% for females) of surviving for 5 years compared to their counterparts in the general Australian population.

Between 1984–1988 and 2009–2013, 5-year relative survival from melanoma skin cancer improved from 86% to 90%.

5-year relative survival from melanoma skin cancer, by sex, 1984–1988 to 2009–2013

This line chart presents 5-year relative survival at diagnosis for melanoma of the skin by males, females and persons over the period 1984–1988 to 2009–2013. The percentage of survival is presented on the y-axis.

Source: AIHW [13].

Survivorship population for melanoma skin cancer

The survivorship population is measured using prevalence data. Prevalence refers to the number of people alive who have previously been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer.

The prevalence for 1, 5 and 31 years given below are the number of people living with melanoma skin cancer at the end of 2012 who had been diagnosed in the preceding 1, 5 and 31 years respectively.

At the end of 2012, there were 11,960 people living who had been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer that year, 51,697 people living who had been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2008 to 2012) and 169,292 people living who had been diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer in the previous 31 years (from 1982 to 2012).

References

1. Australia Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books: All cancers combined. Canberra: AIHW. [Accessed February 2017].

6.  Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books: Melanoma skin cancer. Canberra: [Accessed February 2017].

13. AIHW 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer series no. 101. Cat. No. CAN 100. Canberra: AIHW.