5 key facts about where Aussies stand on melanoma


Australian men are more likely to die of melanoma than anyone else in the world, probably because they are not engaging in sun-promoting campaigns, suggest the research presented at the cancer conference.

Based on WHO data from 33 countries, mortality was highest among Australian boys, with 5.7 deaths registered per 100,000 men in 2013-2015.

However, data for this period were not available for the USA, Canada and New Zealand.

Men in other countries should not breathe a sigh of relief, according to a presentation by Dr Dorothy Yang from the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust at the National Cancer Research Institute in Scotland.

Mortality rates were higher for men than for women in all countries

The study was based on data from the years 1985-2015 and was aimed at determining whether the new prophylactic, diagnostic and therapeutic schemes had an impact on mortality rates that were old for age.

Dr Yang said that she and her colleagues could still analyze the data to try to identify factors that could explain gender differences.

"There is evidence to suggest that men are less likely to protect themselves from the sun or engage in campaigns for the awareness and prevention of melanoma.

"Work is also underway to look for any biological factors that underlie the difference in mortality between men and women."

Dr Yang and her team also stated:

  1. Australian women had the second highest mortality in melanoma (2.5 deaths per 100,000 women) and were not far behind the leading Slovenia (2.6 deaths per 100,000 women) in 2013-2015.
  2. Swedish males and females also had a high mortality rate of melanoma in the same period (3.4 and 2.1 respectively).
  3. In Japan in 2013, the lowest mortality rate for men (0.24 per 100,000) and women (0.18 per 100,000) was recorded in 2013-15
  4. The Czech Republic was the only country in which the melanoma mortality rate in men was reduced. Mortality dropped on average by 0.7% per year during the 30-year study period
  5. The Czech Republic and Israel recorded the largest drop in women's mortality (respectively 23% and 16%) in 1985-2015.

More information: 2018 Summary of the NCRI Cancer conference


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