Skin Cancer in Australia


Vision Direct

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There are about 380,000 cases of Skin Cancer reported in Australia each year, and from that there are about 1,700 deaths. A ratio of about 4.4 deaths per 1,000 reported cases.

Most people have annual skin checks by specialist doctors or clinics, to check for the first signs of skin cancer. This helps to keep the rate of deaths from skin cancer much lower than in other countries.

In Australia you will hear regular reports on the UV index for the day in your area, on local TV etc. This will vary on your location and the time of year.

An example on 17th November 2009:

UV Index followed by Local Time and City.

  • 4.6 11:23am KINGSTON
  • 4.7 11:23am MELBOURNE
  • 4.7 11:20am NEWCASTLE
  • 6.3 09:25am PERTH
  • 7.3 09:53am DARWIN
  • 7.6 10:53am ADELAIDE
  • 9.6 10:23am BRISBANE
  • 9.8 11:22am SYDNEY
  • 11.0 10:22am TOWNSVILLE

So, what does this mean ?


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UV Level and risks

  • 1-2 Low Risk : You can safely stay outdoors with minimal protection.
  • 3-5 Moderate Risk : Wear sun protective clothing, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and seek shady areas.
  • 6-7 High Risk : As above
  • 8-10 Very High Risk : As above
  • 11 + Extreme Risk : As above

This extremely good diagram from the BBC shows some more variable answers to that:

UV Index
UV Index

From the above, you can see the following, remembering that Summer does not begin for another 2 weeks.

  • Brisbane at 10:23am, with a UV of 9.6, the risk of UV damage to an easily burnt white person is VERY HIGH.
  • Melbourne at 11:23 am, with a UV of 4.7, the risk of UV damage to an easily tanned white person is LOW.

You can check up to date UV indexes at:

As a comparison of UV index rates, you can look at the Europe UV index, and it shows for the 16th November 2009, Malaga and Barcelona are both UV 2, but then that is nearly winter in Europe.

The UK is showing 1 at the moment, but in the summer, the UV Index rarely reaches 8, and 7 is normally the maximum during the two weeks around the summer solstice.

In the Mediterranean area, it is common to get a UV index of 9 and 10, during summer.

UK and Europe UV index figures can be seen at:

Some actual maximum UV indexes in London, UK

  • 6.3 13th June 2009
  • 5.9 14th June 2009

Sourced from www.temis.nl/uvradiation/nrt/uvindex.php?lon=-0.07&lat=51.30


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