QSkin Genetics


In 2011, almost 44,000 Queenslanders participated in the first stage of the QSkin Sun & Health Study by completing the baseline questionnaire (see below). Some interesting findings from this study are:

  • Average age of participants: 56 years
  • 65% get less than 8 hours of sleep per night (27.5% get less than 7 hours)
  • 16% felt that you were more likely to develop melanoma in the future than other Queenslanders
  • 89% rated your health as good to excellent, compared to other people
  • 72.6% of participants had had their skin checked by a Doctor in the last 3 years
  • Women were more likely than men to check their own skin


The QSkin Sun & Health Study involved people answering a series of questions about themselves, their sun protection behaviours and their medical history.

From this information, the researchers were able to conduct in-depth analyses, and reported their findings in QSkin newsletters and journal article publications.

Click to view the baseline survey here.

Click to view the QSkin II baseline survey here.


Study participants are provided with updates via the QSkin newsletter. Please click the links below to access past issues:


Researchers have made discoveries about risk and prevalence of skin cancer from the first stage of QSkin. These findings have been published in medical journals as follows:

1. Olsen CM, Green, AC, Neale RE, Webb PM, Cicero RA, Jackman LM, O’Brien SM, Perry SL, Raineri BA, Whiteman DC for the QSkin Study. Cohort Profile: The QSkin Sun and Health Study. Int J Epidemiol (2012) 41 (4): 929-929i.

2. Olsen CM, Neale RE, Cicero RA, Jackman LA, O’Brien SM, Perry SL, Raineri BA, for the QSkin Study Do ‘personal stories’ improve response rates to mailed surveys? A randomised trial within the QSkin Sun and Health Cohort Epidemiology. 2012;23:765-766.

3. Morze CJ, Olsen CM, Perry SL, Jackman LM, Ranieri BA, O’Brien SM, Cicero RA, Whiteman DC for the QSkin Study. Good test-retest reproducibility for an instrument to capture self-reported melanoma risk factors. J Clinical Epidemiology 2012:65:1329-1336.

4. Manahan MN, Soyer HP, Loescher LJ, Horsham C, Vagenas D, Whiteman DC, Olsen CM, Janda M. A pilot trial of mobile, patient-performed teledermoscopy. Br J Dermatol. 2015 Apr;172(4):1072-80.

5. Olsen CM, Neale RE, Green AC, Webb PM the QSkin Study, the Epigene Study, Whiteman DC. Independent validation of six melanoma risk prediction models. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 May;135(5):1377-84.

6. Rowell D, Gordon LG, Olsen CM, Whiteman DC. A reconstruction of a medical history from administrative data: with an application to the cost of skin cancer. Health Economics Review (2015) 5:4. doi: 10.1186/s13561-015-0042-x.

7. Olsen CM, Thompson BS, Green AC, Neale RE, Whiteman DC, for the QSkin Study. Sun protection and skin examination practices in a setting of high ambient solar radiation: a population-based cohort study. JAMA Dermatology 2015 Sep;151(9):982-90.

8. Thompson BS, Olsen CM, Subramaniam P, Neale RE, Whiteman DC. Medicare claims data reliably identify treatments for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma: a prospective cohort study. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2016 Apr;40(2):154-8.

9. Khalesi M, Whiteman DC, Rosendahl C, Johns R, Hackett T, Cameron A, Waterhouse M, Lucas RM, Kimlin MG, Neale RE, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sun and Health. Basal cell carcinomas on sun-protected vs. sun-exposed body sites: a comparison of phenotypic and environmental risk factors. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2015;31(4)202-11.

10. Djaja N, Janda M, Olsen CM, Whiteman DC, Chien TW. Advantages of Mobile Computer-Adaptive Testing (CAT) for people to Quickly estimate their skin cancer risk. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2016 Jan 22;18(1):e22.

11. Whiteman DC, Thompson B, Thrift AP, Hughes MC, Muranushi C, Neale RE, Green AC, Olsen CM for the QSkin Study. A model to predict the risk of keratinocyte cancers. J Invest Dermatol. 2016 Jun;136(6):1247-54.

12. Vuong K, Armstrong BK, Weiderpass E, Lund E, Adami HO, Veierod MB, Barrett JH, Davies JR, Bishop DT, Whiteman DC, Olsen CM, Hopper JL, Mann GJ, Australian Melanoma Family Study Investigators, Cust AE, McGeechan K. Development and external validation of a melanoma risk prediction model using self-assessed risk factors. JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Aug 1;152(8):889-96.

13. Rowell D, Gordon LG, Olsen CM, Whiteman DC. A comparison of the direct medical costs for individuals with or without basal or squamous cell skin cancer: A study from Australia. SAGE Open Med. 2016 May 11;4:2050312116646030.

14. Subramaniam P, Olsen CM, Thompson BS, Whiteman DC, Neale RE; QSkin Sun and Health Study Investigators. Anatomical Distributions of Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a Population-Based Study in Queensland, Australia. JAMA Dermatol. 2017 Feb 1;153(2):175-182.

15. Horsham C, Loescher LJ, Whiteman DC, Soyer HP, Janda M. Consumer acceptance of patient-performed mobile teledermoscopy for the early detection of melanoma. BJD 2016 175(6):1301-1310.

16. Khalesi M, Waterhouse M, Whiteman DC, Johns R, Rosendahl C, Hackett T, Pollak T, Kimlin MG, Hacker E, Neale RE; NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Sun and Health (CRESH). Comparison of PTCH1, COX-2, p53, and Ki-67 protein expression in basal cell carcinomas of nodular and superficial subtypes arising on the head and trunk. Int J Dermatol. 2016 Oct;55(10):1096-105.

17. Dusingize JC, Olsen CM, Pandeya NP, Subramaniam P, Thompson BS, Neale RE, Green AC, Whiteman DC; QSkin Study. Cigarette smoking and the risks of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2017 Apr 13. pii: S0022-202X(17)31412-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.03.027.

18. Pandeya N, Olsen CM, Whiteman DC. The incidence rates and multiplicity of Keratinocyte cancers in Australia. Med J Aust. 2017 Oct 16;207(8):339-343.

19. Elliott TM, Whiteman DC, Olsen CM, Gordon LG. Estimated healthcare costs of melanoma in Australia over 3 years post diagnosis. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 2017 Dec;15(6):805-816.
Erratum to: Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 2017 Dec;15(6):817-818.

20. Gordon LG, Elliott TM, Olsen CM, Pandeya N, Whiteman DC. Multiplicity of skin cancers in Queensland, Australia and their cost burden to government and patients. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2017 Nov 22.

21. Olsen CM, Pandeya N, Thompson BS, Dusingize JC, Subramaniam P, Nagle CM, Green AC, Neale RE, Webb PM, Whiteman DC for the QSkin Study. Hormonal and reproductive factors and incidence of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in a large, prospective cohort. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Sep 22. pii: S0190-9622(17)32438-6.

22. Gordon LG, Elliott TM, Olsen CM, Pandeya N, Whiteman DC for the QSkin study. Patient out-of-pocket medical expenses among Queenslanders with a major cancer. Med J Aust. 2018 Jun 18;208(11):497.

23. Dusingize JC, Olsen CM, Pandeya NP, Subramaniam P, Thompson BS, Neale RE, Green AC, Whiteman DC for the QSkin Study. Smoking and cutaneous melanoma: findings from a prospective cohort study of 43,794 participants. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2018 May 22. pii: cebp.1056.2017.

24. Olsen CM, Pandeya N, Thompson BT, Dusingize JC, Webb PM, Green AC, Neale RE and Whiteman DC for the QSkin Study. Risk stratification for melanoma: models derived and validated in a purpose-designed prospective cohort study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2018 Mar 11.

25. Olsen CM, Pandeya N, Thompson BT, Dusingize JC, Webb PM, Green AC, Neale RE and Whiteman DC for the QSkin Study. Physician skin checks before the diagnosis of melanoma correlate with tumour characteristics. J Invest Dermatol. 2018 May 5. pii: S0022-202X(18)31952-3.

26. Gordon LG, Elliott TM, Olsen CM, Pandeya N, Whiteman DC for the QSkin Study. Patient out-of-pocket medical expenses over 2 years among Queenslanders with and without a major cancer. Australian Journal of Primary Health 2018 Nov22. DOI:10.1071/PY18003.

27. Olsen CM, Pandeya N, Thompson BT, Dusingize JC, Green AC, Neale RE and Whiteman DC for the QSkin Study. Association between phenotypic characteristics and melanoma in a large prospective cohort study. Submitted to J Invest Dermatol. 2018 Oct 24. pii: S0022-202X(18)32692-7.

28. Thompson BS, Pandeya N, Olsen CM, Dusingize JC, Green AC, Neale RE, Whiteman DC. Keratinocyte cancer excisions in Australia: Who performs them and associated costs. Australas J Dermatol. 2019 Nov;60(4):294-300.

29. Pandeya N, Olsen CM, Thompson BS, Dusingize JC, Neale RE, Green AC, Whiteman DC; QSkin Study. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and keratinocyte cancers: a large population-based cohort study of skin cancer in Australia. Br J Dermatol. 2019 Oct;181(4):749-760.

30. Olsen CM, Pandeya N, Law MH, MacGregor S, Iles MM, Thompson BS, Green AC, Neale RE, Whiteman DC; QSkin Study. Does polygenic risk influence associations between sun exposure and melanoma? A prospective cohort analysis. Br J Dermatol. 2019 Nov 20.

31. Olsen CM, Whiteman DC. Risk stratification for melanoma. Oncotarget. 2019 Mar 8;10(20):1868-1869.

32. Liyanage UE, Law MH, Han X, An J, Ong JS, Gharahkhani P, Gordon S, Neale RE, Olsen CM; 23andMe Research Team, MacGregor S, Whiteman DC. Combined analysis of keratinocyte cancers identifies novel genome-wide loci. Hum Mol Genet. 2019 Sep 15;28(18):3148-3160.

33. Dusingize JC, Olsen CM, An J, Pandeya N, Law MH, Thompson BS, Webb PM, Neale RE, Ong JS, MacGregor S, Whiteman DC. Body mass index and height and risk of cutaneous melanoma: Mendelian randomization analyses. AJE (accepted Dec 2019)