Media releases

February 28, 2017


Medibank says Aussie men need to start better looking after themselves in the sun, following the release of new data showing the gap between the sexes for skin cancer operations is widening. The data relates to complex cases requiring hospital admission.

Last year, Medibank covered more than 16,000 hospital admissions for skin cancer operations, with men accounting for 58% of cases.

Medibank’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Linda Swan said that men need to heed the advice of the experts and protect themselves.

“While men have traditionally spent more time in the sun, they are less likely to protect themselves. Skin cancer can largely be prevented by following simple sun protection rules like wearing protective clothing and applying a broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen. It’s important to remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you’ve been exercising or swimming,” Dr Swan said.

With the annualised growth rate for skin cancer-related hospital admissions for men running at 4.6% compared to 3.4% for women, Dr Swan said that the difference in health behaviours between men and women is also playing a part.

“Women are more likely to check their skin for changes as well as see their doctor for regular check-ups.”

Dr Swan said that she still sees complacency among both men and women as to how serious skin cancer can be.

“Most men have had a friend or family member who’ve had a malignancy removed. While some of these cases can be relatively simple procedures, others can be complex and very invasive,” Dr Swan said.

“Medibank has covered some extremely serious cases, with some of these customers requiring extensive reconstruction following surgery, or having the cancer spread to other parts of their body.”

For media

Juliet Williams
M: +61 437 931 918



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