Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and it is the most common cancer affecting young Australians.
In 2020, an estimated 4,924 NSW residents were diagnosed with melanoma. That figure is projected to increase to 5,655 in 2023, resulting in an estimated 497 deaths across the state each year.
Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun causes more than 95% of skin cancers.
The good news? Skin cancers can be easily prevented by always protecting your skin when in the sun in five simple ways:
on protective clothing
on SPF50+ sunscreen
on a wide-brim hat
How we are working to prevent skin cancer
Cancer Institute NSW is working to prevent and limit the burden of skin cancer in NSW.
- UVR protection policy to protect people where they spend time: at work, at sport and at school.
- Increase shade provision.
- Increase ultraviolet radiation (UVR) protection behaviours.
- Generating and using new evidence to inform skin cancer prevention planning, policies, projects and services.
Research shows that skin cancer prevention campaigns are effective. Over eight years, we have contributed to saving more than 100 lives, reducing skin cancer cases by 13,174 in NSW, and saving the state over $60 million.
We hope that by working together, we can significantly reduce the impact of skin cancer for people in NSW.
In this section
Learn more about your skin and how the sun effects it to help reduce your risk of skin cancer.
There are simple ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Learn how to protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet radiation.
Find out how you can prevent your skin from melanoma—the most common cancer among young Australians.
Quality shade can reduce UV exposure by up to 75%. Learn more about shade as a planning and design priority for skin cancer prevention in NSW.
Find out what you can do to protect yourself and your workers from UV radiation and skin cancer.
Sun and UV at School is a suite of new evidence-based teaching resources bringing skin cancer prevention to life for school students across NSW.
1. Cancer Institute NSW, Cancer statistics NSW: https://www.cancer.nsw.gov.au/research-and-data/cancer-data-and-statistics/cancer-statistics-nsw#//
2. Doran, et al. (2016). Benefit Cost Analysis of Three Skin Cancer Public Education Mass-Media Campaigns Implemented in New South Wales, Australia. PLoS ONE. 11(1): e0147665. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0147665.