Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer; Copy Editor: Clare Morrison; Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, October 2013. About Melanoma is sponsored by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated.
About one in fifteen fair-skinned New Zealanders can expect to get a melanoma in their lifetime. New Zealand has the highest rates of melanoma in the world. In 2009 it was the fourth most common cancer registered and the sixth most common cause of death from cancer.
In New Zealand, older men of non-European ethnicity are more likely to be diagnosed with a difficult-to-treat thick melanoma. Men are twice as likely to die from melanoma than females of similar ethnic background.
Yes! Anyone can get melanoma, although it is much more common in white-skinned people than in brown- or black-skinned people.
Skin cancer, including melanoma, occurs much less commonly in Māori, Pacific and Asian people from New Zealand compared with New Zealand Europeans.
Even though less than 1% of Māori are diagnosed with melanoma, they tend to have thicker melanomas, which are more dangerous and more difficult to treat. Three Māori men and three Māori women died of melanoma in 2010.
|Melanoma in Māori||Melanoma in Pacific Islander||Melanoma in Asian||Melanoma of the nail|
Certain risk factors increase the chances of someone getting the most common type of melanoma (superficial spreading melanoma) compared with someone else. These are listed below.
These relative risk factors are less important for the less common types of melanoma (apart from older age). These arise sporadically.
|Sun damage||Many moles||An atypical mole||Fair skin and red hair|
What is melanoma video (Dr Tina Tian)
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