Epidemiology and clinical and pathologic characteristics of cutaneous malignant melanoma in Abruzzo (Italy)

Paolo Amerio, Lamberto Manzoli, Matteo Auriemma, Angelo Carbone, Gianluca Proietto, Domenico Angelucci, Antonello Tulli
International Journal of Dermatology 2009, 48 (7): 718-22

BACKGROUND: Malignant melanoma incidence has increased worldwide in recent decades. Cancer registry-derived epidemiologic data on malignant melanoma in Italy are available only in some northern regions of the country.

AIM: To report the number and characteristics of incident cases of cutaneous malignant melanoma in Abruzzo, a central-southern Italian region.

METHODS: Screening of the archives of the pathology departments of regional hospitals from 2002 to 2005 was performed. For each patient, clinical and pathologic data were collected. Cases of metastatic, multiple, or relapsing melanoma were excluded.

RESULTS: Six hundred and seventy-two cases of primary melanoma were recorded, with an incidence rate of 14.1 per 100,000 inhabitants per year. Differences related to gender (41.1% males and 58.9% females) and age (35% in the 50-70-year age group) were found. The trunk (30.7%) and lower limbs (25.94%) were the most frequent sites observed. The superficial spreading histiotype and thin melanoma (< or = 1.00 mm) were more often recorded (44.8% and 62%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the bias present in this study, linked to the nature and source of the data, we believe that the figures found in this report are comparable with those obtained in the international literature from other Mediterranean countries.

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