Skin cancer facts & stats

  • More than two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.1
  • About 2,000 Australians die from skin cancer each year.2
  • Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.3
  • Medicare records show there were over a million treatments for squamous and basal cell carcinoma skin cancers in 2018 – that’s more than 100 skin cancer treatments every hour.
  • Basal and squamous cell carcinoma skin cancers accounted for one quarter of all cancer-related hospitalisations in 2014–15.4 The cost to the health system of these skin cancers alone is estimated to be more than $700 million annually. The costs to the Federal Government and the community from basal and squamous cell carcinomas are predicted to continue to increase in the future.5
  • In 2022, 2,885 Victorians were diagnosed with melanoma and 262 lost their lives.6
  • It is estimated that approximately 200 melanomas and 34,000 other skin cancer types per year are caused by occupational exposures in Australia.7


1. Staples MP, Elwood M, Burton RC, Williams JL, Marks R, Giles GG. Non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia: the 2002 national survey and trends since 1985. Med J Aust. 2006;184(1):6–10.

2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of Death, Australia, 2017.  Vol. 3303.0. Australian Bureau of Statistics: Canberra, Australia, 2018.

3. Ferlay J, Soerjomatram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin D, Forman D, Bray F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11. IARC, World Health Organisation, 2013.

4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.  Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer Series no.101. CAN 100. AIHW: Canberra, Australia, 2017.

5. Fransen M, Karahalios A, Sharma N, English DR, Giles GG, Sinclair RD. Non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia. Med J Aust. 2012;197(10):565–8.

6. Victorian Cancer Registry. Cancer in Victoria: Statistics & Trends 2022 Cancer Council Victoria: Melbourne, Victoria, 2013. 

7. Fritschi L, Driscoll T. Cancer due to occupation in Australia. Aust N Z Public Health. 2006;30(3):213–9

For more information visit Cancer Council’s Skin Cancer Statistics & Issues.

Our position statements

Cancer Council Australia’s Skin Cancer Committee has developed position statements addressing common myths and misunderstandings to help Australians reduce their skin cancer risk.

Many of the statements have been developed with input from other expert health organisations, particularly the Australasian College of Dermatologists.

These include:

Check for skin cancer

Learn the skin cancer signs and how to check your skin regularly.

Diagnosis & treatment of skin cancer

Most skin cancers can be successfully treated if found early.

Skin cancer facts & stats

Get to know the impact of skin cancer through facts and statistics.

Real stories

Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate. Watch our stories from people just like you.

Health professionals

Skin cancer education, resources and support.