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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2005 December;140(6):645-9

language: English

The increase of melanoma incidence affects trunk and limbs but not head/neck region. Results from a registry-based study (Provinces of Florence and Prato, Italy 1985-1999)

Crocetti E. 1, Carli P. 2

1 Tuscany Cancer Institute Clinical and Descriptive Epidemiology, CSPO, Florence, Italy
2 Department of Dermatology University of Florence, Florence, Italy


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Aim. The study of site-specific incidence trends can be valuable in understanding the effect of intermittent vs chronic sun exposure.
Methods. We analysed time trends during the period 1985 to 1999 in a population resident in central Italy (1180000 residents) where the Tuscany Cancer Registry is active. Sex and site-specific age-adjusted incidence rates and estimated annual percent change (EAPC) were computed.
Results. Melanoma incidence increased in both sexes for lesions located at the trunk (EAPC: +6.3% males, +10.3% females), the lower limbs (+5.4% males, +5.1% females) and the upper limbs (+4.6% males, +1.6% females), both in young and in old subjects. No increase was evidenced for melanomas of the head/neck region (EAPC -3.1% males, -1.7% females, P=n.s.), neither in young nor in old people.
Conclusion. The increase in melanoma incidence in the analysed population is limited to those body sites mainly exposed to intermittent sun exposure, as trunk and limbs, but it spares body regions chronically sun exposed as head/neck. Our data strongly support the role of changes in habits of intermittent sun exposure occurred in last decades as major etiologic factor of melanoma epidemic in our population.

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