Australian invasive melanoma rates have dropped in recent years, according to a new study from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.
The study, published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, looked at invasive melanoma cases in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and the United States over a 30 year period.
Cases of melanoma peaked in Australia in 2005, with 49 cases per 100,000 people. That rate has dropped to 48 cases per 100,000 people in 2011. By comparison, there were 50 cases per 100,000 in New Zealand.
Researchers said Australia was an outlier in the study, and was helped by innovative and well-funded skin cancer campaigns.
Lead researcher, Prof. David Whiteman said “primary prevention campaigns” are the main reason for Australia’s decline, while a lack of funding in New Zealand influenced their high national rate per capita.
Prof. Whiteman said New Zealand campaigns are “struggling to break through.”