Tweed Heads is melanoma hotspot

THE Northern Rivers is the skin cancer capital of the world, new figures from the Cancer Institute NSW reveal.

And Tweed Heads is a major melanoma “hotspot”.

Cancer Institute NSW spokesman Adrian Grundy summed it up.

“If Australia is the melanoma capital of the world, NSW is the melanoma capital of the country and the north coast is the melanoma capital of the state, then we could say that the far north coast is the melanoma capital of the world,” he said.

A new study of the NSW Central Cancer registry’s data from 2002 and 2007 found Ballina had the highest rate of skin cancer on the north coast region with 119.4 incidents every year per 100,000 people.

This figure is nearly two thirds higher than the state average and nearly 40 per cent above the far north coast average.

Tweed Heads came in second-worst for melanoma on the Northern Rivers, followed by Maclean and Kyogle.

Surprisingly, Byron Bay’s skin cancer rates were well below the region’s worst hotspots.

“Byron has a transient population which may have spent their whole life in the sun, whereas inland farming areas have a high incident of melanoma caused by incidental sun damage,” Mr Grundy said.



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