Increasing burden of melanoma in Croatia

Dulija Malatestinić, Vesna Nadarević-Stefanec, Petra Suljić, Bojan Glazar, Suzana Janković
Collegium Antropologicum 2011, 35 Suppl 2: 267-70
Melanoma consists 4-5% of all skin cancers, but it contributes to 71-80% of skin cancers deaths. It is controversial whether worldwide increases in melanoma incidence represent a true epidemic but at the same time that dramatic increase in incidence occur in setting of relatively stable mortality trends, observed in Croatia also. The majority of authors accept that main risk factors for melanoma relate to environmental exposure and genetics with epidemiologic studies linking sun exposure to melanoma development. Data were obtained from Croatian cancer register for patients diagnosed between 1999 and 2008, for malignant melanoma of the skin (ICD-10 code C43) at national level and from 2003 to 2008, at the County level (Primorsko-goranska County). Melanoma incidence nearly doubled in males from 8.75 to 13.4/10(5) per year, fold in females from 9.1 at the start of observation to the end of 12.0/10(5) per year in Croatia. Melanoma incidence rates were much more higher for Primorsko-goranska County with range from 10.1 to 17.5/10(5) per year. The greatest increase of melanoma incidence rates was in males 60 years and over year group at diagnosis. National comparison of variation in cancer incidence by region and age can provide basis for public health prevention. It requires the integration of information on risk factors, incidence that could help to reduce regional inequalities in incidence and reduce the future cancer incidence.

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