Melanoma: Understanding the Deadliest Skin Cancer in Australia

March 2 2023

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and is caused by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells in the skin. It is estimated that one in 14 men and one in 24 women in Australia will be diagnosed with melanoma by the age of 85, making it a significant public health concern. With Melanoma March approaching, it’s crucial to raise awareness about this deadly disease and the steps we can take to prevent it.

Causes of Melanoma

The primary cause of melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. Other risk factors include a family history of the disease, fair skin, having many moles, and a weakened immune system. It is essential to take precautions when spending time outdoors, especially during peak UV hours, to minimize the risk of developing melanoma.


Melanoma often appears as a new or changing mole on the skin. It can also present as a dark, irregularly shaped patch or spot that grows over time. It is essential to monitor any changes in the skin, such as the size, shape, and colour of moles or spots. Other symptoms may include itching, bleeding, or oozing.


The treatment of melanoma depends on the stage of the cancer and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. Early detection is vital for successful treatment, so it is crucial to consult a doctor if you notice any changes in your skin. The Australian Cancer Council recommends that adults have a skin check every year by a doctor or dermatologist.


Preventing melanoma is possible, and it involves avoiding excessive exposure to UV radiation. This can be achieved by staying in the shade during peak UV times, wearing protective clothing like hats and long-sleeved shirts, and applying sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. It is also essential to avoid tanning beds, as they emit harmful UV radiation that can increase the risk of melanoma.

Raising Awareness with Melanoma March

Melanoma March is a national awareness and fundraising initiative that takes place throughout March in Australia. The initiative aims to raise awareness about melanoma and fundraise for vital research into the disease. Participants can register to walk, run, or march at events throughout the country or donate to the cause. The funds raised go towards research, patient support, and education programs to prevent melanoma.

Melanoma is a significant public health concern in Australia, but with awareness and preventive measures, it is possible to reduce the incidence of this deadly disease. By taking steps to prevent melanoma and raising awareness through initiatives like Melanoma March, we can work together to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this disease. Remember to practice sun safety and get regular skin checks by a medical professional to stay ahead of the risks.

To sign up for Melanoma March, visit their page here.