The early European settlers to Australia found themselves in a land alien to that which they had left far behind. Despite the multitude of differences, many echoed the sentiments of Dorothea Mackellar and grew to love the sunburnt country they found themselves living in. This displaced the love of “grey-blue distance, brown streams and soft dim skies” which once ran strongly in their veins.
Many years later, their sun-kissed sons and daughters have reason to be more wary of the harsh land they call home, to respect “her beauty and her terror” and to fear her “pitiless blue sky”.
The presence of a fair-skinned population in the “hot gold hush of noon” produced a country that has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world, especially melanomas.2 Whilst melanomas are not the most common form of skin cancer, they are the most life-threatening.
It is hard to convey the human toll and suffering of a disease purely by reproducing statistics, but the ones about melanomas provide sober reading in their own right. The following are some statistics about melanomas of the skin in Australia:
Did you know?
- Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer and melanomas in the world, with Queensland having the highest incidence in Australia
- Melanoma makes up only 2.3% of all skin cancers but is responsible for 75% of skin cancer deaths. In 2007, there were 10,342 new reported cases of melanomas in Australia and 1,279 deaths from it.
- Melanomas were the most commonly diagnosed cancer among adolescents and young adults between 2003 and 2007; it accounted for more than one-quarter of all cancers in this age group.
- In 2008, the incidence rate of melanomas of the skin in Australia (37 cases per 100,000 people) was nearly thirteen times higher than the average world rate (3 cases per 100,000 people);
- It is estimated that approximately 200 melanomas and 34,000 non-melanoma skin cancers per year are caused by occupational exposures in Australia.
Is there insurance for Melanoma?
Australia is fortunate enough to have arrange of insurance companies that offer Trauma Insurance that can pay a lump sum benefit of up to $2,000,000, should you be diagnosed with a specified illness like cancer and provided that you otherwise satisfy the terms and conditions for payment.
These funds can help pay off the mortgage, pay medical bills and meet the myriad of other financial stresses that inevitably arise allowing you to concentrate on recovering.
It is important to choose a policy that has excellent melanoma definitions which will give you greater peace of mind if you ever need to make a claim for skin cancer.
Contact your financial planner to discuss your insurance needs today.
1. Selected phrases from Dorothea Mackellar’s poem “My Country” 2. AIHW 2010. Cancer in Australia 2010: an overview. Cancer series no. 60. Cat. no. CAN 56. Canberra: AIHW www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=644247268 3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australasian Association of Cancer Registries (2004). AIHW cat. no. CAN 23. Canberra, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442467673 4. AIHW 2010. Cancer in Australia 2010: an overview. Cancer series no. 60. Cat. no. CAN 56. Canberra: AIHW www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=644247268;
5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia. Cancer series no 62. Cat no CAN 59. Canberra: AIHW, 2011. 6. AIHW 2010. Cancer in Australia 2010: an overview. Cancer series no. 60. Cat. no. CAN 56. Canberra: AIHW www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=644247268; 7. Fritschi L, Driscoll T. Cancer due to occupation in Australia. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2006; 30: 213–9.
8. Source AIA IRESS Risk Researcher – 12/12/12