Cancer experts are worried about the rising number of WA men dying from melanoma and the link to them finding more advanced skin cancers.
The latest cancer statistics show though rates of melanoma in men and women have fallen, there has been a surge in deaths from the disease in men.
The data was released ahead of Daffodil Day tomorrow, one of Cancer Council WA's biggest annual fundraisers.
The WA Health Department's Cancer Registry shows more than 11,600 new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2011 and 3862 people died from the disease.
Dr Tim Threlfall, who compiled the report, said a 10 per cent rise in prostate cancer contributed to the highest number of cancer cases recorded in WA.
Prostate and bowel cancers were the most common types in men and breast cancer remained the number one cancer in women.
Lung cancer was the biggest cancer killer in men and women.
Cancer Council director of education and research Terry Slevin said more than 1100 people were diagnosed with melanoma and men made up three-quarters of the 180 deaths.
Though the downturn in melanoma cases was welcomed, the increasing rate of deaths highlighted the need for people to be more sun safe.
Melanoma was the most common cause of cancer deaths in males aged 15 to 39 and the second most common cause of death for women the same age.
"While the report shows some encouraging signs of progress in the battle against melanoma, the story is somewhat of a double-edged sword," Mr Slevin said.
"On the one hand we can see signs that the prevention messages of the Slip Slop Slap and SunSmart campaigns are starting to show some benefit with a clear downward trend in the rate of melanoma being diagnosed in men and women, particularly in the younger age groups."
But Mr Slevin said this coincided with an increase in the death rate, particularly in men.
There was also evidence of melanomas over the past 10 years appearing thicker and more advanced when found.
"More advanced disease means a poorer prognosis," he said.
"There needs to be greater emphasis placed on early detection, particularly among men who are much more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancer and when diagnosed are more likely to die of the disease."
The council aims to raise $720,000 for Daffodil Day to support cancer research, prevention programs and support services.