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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2017 February;152(1):18-23

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.16.05133-6

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Cutaneous melanoma in octogenarians: a single-institution review

Donato CALISTA 1, Massimo MORRI 2

1 Department of Dermatology, “M. Bufalini” Hospital, Cesena, Forlì-Cesena, Italy; 2 Department of Dermatology, “Infermi” Hospital, Rimini, Italy


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BACKGROUND: To identify the prognostic factors and assess the outcome of a group of octogenarian patients who were diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma (CM) in the Department of Dermatology of the “M. Bufalini” Hospital, Cesena, Italy from 1996 to 2013.
METHODS: From the 1136 consecutive patients in our database, we selected 82 patients (7.2%) diagnosed with CM at age 80 or older. Their major clinical and histopathologic parameters were extracted and matched with those of the residual 1054 younger patients.
RESULTS: Comparing our 82 patients with the group of 1054 patients with CM diagnosed in the same period, but at a younger age, we found that: 1) there was no significant difference regarding the patient’s gender; 2) CM diagnosed in octogenarians was more frequently located on the head and neck (24.4% vs. 12.8%), and lower extremities (24.4% vs. 14.4%) (P=0.0001); 3) early diagnosis of CM (T1) was less frequent in octogenarians (31.7% vs. 62.6%), intermedium thickness CM (T2) was nearly the same in the 2 groups (15.8% vs. 16.5%), while diagnosis in category T3/T4 (42.6% vs. 21.0%) were significantly greater in octogenarians (P=0.0001); 4) ulceration was detected more frequently in octogenarians (18.3% vs. 10.7%) but the difference was not statistically significant. After a follow-up period of a median 58 months, 52 octogenarians (63.4%) were still alive and free from disease. Thirty of them (36.6%) had died, 14 (17.1%) of which because of melanoma. On the contrary, among the younger patients, 840 (81.6%) were alive, 132 (12.5%) died for melanoma and 75 (7.1%) for other causes.
CONCLUSIONS: In our octogenarians, death for CM was not related to the old age but to the delayed diagnosis of cancer. Our results suggest that continuing educational programs for early diagnosis of CM should specifically include this segment of population.


KEY WORDS: Melanoma - Aged - Outcome assessment, health care

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