Correspondence | Published:

Melanoma rates remain high in Australia

Nature volume 443, page 750 (19 October 2006) | Download Citation



Your Editorial “Preventing cancer” (Nature 442, 720; 2006) is surely incorrect when it argues that because of public-health campaigns melanoma has less of a health impact in Australia than in Britain.

As the populations of Australia and Britain differ, it is necessary to quote rates rather than absolute numbers. If this is done, melanoma mortality is two to three times higher, and incidence rates around four times higher, in Australia than in the United Kingdom. The absolute number of deaths is higher in Britain because more people live in Britain than Australia (see B. Armstrong in Textbook of Melanoma (eds J. F. Thompson, D. L. Morton and B. B. R. Kroon) 65–80; Dunitz, London, 2004).

Author information


  1. Department of Dermatology, Lauriston Building, University of Edinburgh, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9HA, UK

    • Jonathan Rees


  1. Search for Jonathan Rees in:

About this article

Publication history



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing