Australian Government Response to House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health Report – Skin Cancer in Australia: Our National Cancer

On 9 January 2014 the Minister for Health, The Hon Peter Dutton MP, asked the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health to inquire into and report on skin cancer in Australia.

Page last updated: 31 May 2017

Terms of Reference

The Standing Committee on Health will inquire into melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers and report on:
  • options to improve implementation of evidence-based best practice treatment and management;
  • strategies to enhance early diagnosis;
  • effective strategies for prevention; and
  • the need to increase levels of awareness in the community and among healthcare professionals.

The Committee’s report, Skin Cancer in Australia: Our National Cancer (the report) was tabled in Parliament on 24 March 2015. The report makes 12 recommendations to improve the prevention and treatment of skin cancers in Australia.

On 31 May 2017, the Government tabled its response in the House of Representatives and a copy of the response is provided below.

PDF Version: Australian Government Response to House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health Report – Skin Cancer in Australia: Our National Cancer (PDF 111 KB)
Word Version: Australian Government Response to House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health Report – Skin Cancer in Australia: Our National Cancer (Word 98 KB)

Australia has amongst the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. However, Australia performs well in controlling this cancer, which is demonstrated by our high relative 5 year survival rate for melanoma which was at 90 per cent in the period 2009-2013. Although our rapidly ageing population will mean an overall increase in many cancers in the foreseeable future, there is now emerging evidence that the last 30 years of public health preventive measures are beginning to reduce the incidence of melanoma (the more serious and potentially fatal type of skin cancer). For people aged less than 40 the incidence rate has dropped from a peak of 13 cases per 100,000 in 2002 to an estimated 9.4 per 100,000 in 2016. It is within this context that the Government’s response to the recommendations has been developed.