Survey seeks to shape future of skin cancer prevention

Public health experts are one step closer to answers on how best to decrease skin cancer rates, following the launch of a Queensland-wide survey on sun protection.

Cancer Council Queensland’s Everyday Health Survey seeks to gain understanding of Queenslanders’ knowledge and behaviours towards sun protection and explore how the community wants to be informed about skin cancer prevention and early detection. This in turn will inform the charity’s advocacy priorities, community programs and research agenda.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan called on Queenslanders to complete the online survey and have their say on skin cancer prevention.

“We want to get a snapshot of Queenslanders’ knowledge of sun protective behaviours and their habits,” Ms McMillan said.

“Survey respondents will also have their say on education and awareness, including whether they are in favour of a mass media campaign to inform Queenslanders about sun protection and early detection of skin cancer.

“This community survey will give the public a voice, allow us to develop initiatives and strategies to help the community reduce their risk of skin cancer, and assist in guiding our advocacy priorities.”

Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world with around 3700 people diagnosed with melanoma and more than 360,000 non-melanoma skin cancers removed annually.

“Almost all skin cancers, including melanoma, are caused by over-exposure to UV radiation from the sun, meaning skin cancer is almost entirely preventable,” Ms McMillan said.

“We’re calling on all Queenslanders aged 18 and over to take part in our Everyday Health Survey and have their say, so we can help protect everyone from skin cancer.”

This is the sixth Everyday Health Survey that Cancer Council Queensland has conducted. The surveys are designed to give Queenslanders a voice and engage them in a conversation about the health issues that affect all members of the community.

Queenslanders can complete Cancer Council Queensland’s Everyday Health Survey online at The survey closes on Friday, November 29.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or


About skin cancer and sun protection

  • Two in three Queenslanders will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 75.
  • Decreasing melanoma incidence rates in Queenslanders under 40 years old and plateauing rates in those aged 40-59 over the last decade highlights the benefit of sustained implementation of skin cancer prevention programs as well as skin cancer prevention and early detection campaign which were most prominent between 1981-2001.
  • Queenslanders aged 60 and over who did not grow up with prevention campaigns, continue to experience higher rates of melanoma.
  • Sun safety continues to play a major role in preventing skin cancer. Sun protection is required when the UV levels reach 3 and above. In Queensland, sun protection is required all year due to consistently high UV levels.
  • Most skin cancers can be successfully treated if found early. It’s important that Queenslanders to get to know their own skin and if they notice a new spot or lesion, or a spot or lesion change in shape, colour or size, to visit a GP immediately.
  • Queenslanders with fair skin, skin that burns easily, the presence of many moles, and a family history of skin cancer are at greater risk of developing melanoma.

For more information, or interviews, please contact:

Lisa Maynard, Manager, Public Relations and Social Media, Cancer Council Queensland
M. 0488 015 702, E: