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April 1995

Skin Cancer Control in Australia: The Balance Between Primary Prevention and Early Detection

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(4):474-478. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690160104019

AUSTRALIA HAS the highest incidence rate of skin cancer in the world. The last incidence rates published for nonmelanoma skin cancer were almost 1000 cases per 100 000 people per year in 1990, and for melanoma they were 30.2 cases per 100 000 male individuals and 23.9 cases per 100 000 female individuals in 1989.1,2 For all these tumors, the incidence has continued to increase at a rate between 5% and 7% annually. As there is no reason, as yet, to suggest a slowing in incidence rates, it is predictable that the incidence rates of these tumors will be significantly higher in 1995 than those rates previously published.

Public health programs directed at skin cancer control have been running in Australia since the late 1970s. They have increased enormously in breadth and depth in the last 10 years, so that now almost everyone in Australia is affected in some

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