Incidence of melanoma

Why this indicator is important

Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.1

Skin cancers can be:

  • melanomas
  • squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs)
  • basal cell carcinomas (BCCs).

SCCs and BCCs are often grouped together as non-melanoma skin cancers.

Skin cancer is a highly preventable cancer. At least 95% of melanoma skin cancers, and 99% of non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.2

About this indicator

This indicator reports the number of new cases (incidence) of melanoma each year from 1972 to 2018.

  • In 2018, there were 67.5 new cases per 100,000 men in NSW and 43.3 new cases per 100,000 women in NSW.


  1. Melanoma incidence data source: Cancer statistics NSW portal (sourced from Institute Data Warehouse, Cancer Institute NSW). 
  2. Population data source: Australian Bureau of Statistics via Secure Analytics for Population Health Research and Intelligence (SAPHaRI), Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.
  3. Incidence rates have been directly age-standardised to the 2001 Standard Australian Population.


  1. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Estimated number of new cases in 2018, melanoma of skin, both sexes, all ages [Internet]. Global Cancer Observatory, Cancer Today 2018 [20 June 2019]. Available at: (accessed 14 February 2020).
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Skin Cancer in Australia. Cat. No. CAN 96. Canberra: AIHW, 2016.