Skin Cancer Prevention – Promising Results

A study by researchers at Brisbane’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute has revealed some very promising statistics about one of Australia’s most deadly cancers – Melanoma.

With an estimated 12,000 people diagnosed with melanoma in 2012 it is Australia’s third most common cancer type.

The study, which analysed melanoma cases among 15 to 24 year olds in Queensland from 1982 to 2010, has shown there has been a five per cent a year decline among teenagers and young adults developing the disease from the mid-1990s to 2010.

Additionally, for people aged 20 to 24, the rate has fallen from 25 cases per 100,000 in 1996 to 14 per 100,000 in 2010.

The success would be similar for the rest of Australia, says lead researcher Professor Adele Green, who has spent more than three decades studying skin cancer at the Institute.

“The culture is changing. Australians know the sun is dangerous as well as wonderful.  This shows the improvements are broader than just the adolescents and young adults in the melanoma study,” says Professor Green.

“I am convinced we can make people much healthier and happier if we prevent chronic diseases rather than treat them.

Professor Green has been a long term advocate of sun safety and we, at the ACRF, are thrilled by this news as we have had the worst incidence in the world of melanoma and other skin cancers. The ACRF is proud to have funded significant sums of money for melanoma research in Australia.

Professor Green is a highly distinguished Australian scientist, named one of the most influential women in Australia by Westpac in 2013 and the Financial Review Group, named 2013 Queensland Australian of the Year and served on the ACRF’s scientific advisory committee (MRAC) for many years.

The skin cancer study was published online in the International Journal of Cancer in April this year.

ACRF is also proud to be associated with cancer research funding of the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute having provided $6.62 million in research grants.