What Is Melanoma?

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. However, if it is recognized and treated early, it can be curable. But if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to tread and can be fatal.

While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths. Melanoma is a malignant tumor that originates in melanocytes, the cells which produce the pigment melanin that colours our skin, hair, and eyes. The majority of melanomas are black or brown. However, some melanomas are skin coloured, pink, red, purple, blue or white.

  • Over 380,000 Australians are treated for skin cancer each year, that’s over 1,000 people every day.
  • Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, Skin cancers account for around 80% of all new cancers diagnosed each year in Australia. Each year Australians are four times more likely to develop a common skin cancer than any other form of cancer.
  • Over 1,700 Australians die from skin cancer each year.
  • In 2005 245 Victorians died from melanoma
  • The melanoma incidence rates in Australia and New Zealand are around four times as high as those found in Canada, The United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Melanoma is the most common cancer between the age of 15 and 40 “Our Future”






Supporting Melanoma and Skin Cancer