Health conditions

Melanoma and skin cancer

Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. Over 1,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in Western Australia each year.

Melanoma is potentially the most serious type of skin cancer that starts from the pigment cells of the skin (melanocytes).

Melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin and may begin as a change in an existing mole or as a new lesion.

On rare occasions it can begin in the eye or mucous membranes (lining of the mouth or nasal passages).

If detected early, most melanomas can be successfully treated, and regular follow-up with a GP will be all that is required.

Unfortunately, it is possible that a melanoma may spread (metastasise) to other parts of the body.


Some people will experience ongoing health care needs, and it may become necessary to involve a number of different specialists in their care.

Treatments may include:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation treatment.

Helping you along your cancer journey

The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Nurse Coordination Service is a free statewide service available to anyone with a diagnosis of melanoma and skin cancer in WA. The specialist melanoma and skin cancer nurse is available to:

  • provide and explain information on your diagnosis and treatment
  • refer you to other health care professionals where and when appropriate, for example psychosocial services, physiotherapy and social work
  • assist you and your family through treatment in all departments
  • coordinate your care to ensure timeliness of appointments and treatments
  • act as a central point of contact.

This service is available Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.

The melanoma and skin cancer nurse coordinator can be contacted on 0417 952 129 or 0437 701 550.

More information

  • Cancer Council WA
    Phone:13 11 20
    Helpline provides counselling, complementary therapies, support groups and financial assistance.
  • WA Psycho-Oncology Service
    Phone: 9382 7480
    A clinical psychology service that offers a confidential, free counselling service to patients and families living with cancer.
  • MelanomaWA
    Phone: 9322 1908
    A WA-based service that offers support groups and information to patients and families living with melanoma.
  • Solaris Care
    Phone: 9346 7630
    Provides counselling and complementary therapies for cancer patients and their families.


WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.