Dire warning over melanoma

Date: 13 April 2022

A new study predicts a 50 per cent rise in the number of melanoma cases around the world by 2040.

The report, published in JAMA and titled, Global Burden of Cutaneous Melanoma in 2020 and Projections to 2040, found that in 2020 there were 325,000 new melanoma cases and 57,000 deaths.

It predicts that by 2040, the number of new cases will increase to 510,000 with 96,000 deaths.

“Despite being largely preventable, melanoma is the most serious skin cancer owing to its high potential for metastasis,” the report states.

“Mortality rates were highest in New Zealand and Australia, reflecting the high burden and increasing incidence of melanoma in many high-income countries.”

The report finds the main reason for the increase is a lack of prevention strategies.

“Despite many cases being preventable, cutaneous melanoma remains the most serious skin cancer worldwide. Understanding the scale and profile of the disease is vital to concentrate and reinforce global prevention efforts,” the report says.

The high number of deaths in countries like Australia reinforced the importance of prevention and early detection in high-income settings.

It concluded: “Despite the increasing global melanoma burden, many cases and deaths may be averted through effective public health measures that target primary prevention and early detection combined with curative treatment.”

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Page last updated on: 13 April 2022