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Eur J Cancer. 2004 Nov;40(16):2502-7.

Epidemiological differences for cutaneous melanoma in a relatively dark-skinned Caucasian population with chronic sun exposure.

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  • 1Melanoma Unit, Dermatology Department, Medical School of Heraklion, University of Crete, Greece.


The aim of this study was to reveal differences in the epidemiology and to identify significant risk factors for cutaneous melanoma (CM) in a relatively dark-skinned, chronically sun-exposed Caucasian population. This group is considered to have a low risk for this tumour. One hundred and ten newly diagnosed patients with primary CM and 110 age- and gender-matched controls, all of Cretan origin, were interviewed and underwent a complete skin examination. Solar keratoses odds ratio (OR) 6.2 and lentigines (OR 2.2), common and atypical naevi (OR 5.4 and 3.0, respectively), blonde or red hair colour (OR 3.1), skin phototypes I/II (OR 1.8), as well as total sun exposure (weeks per year) (OR 1.03), were all significantly associated with CM risk in a multivariate logistic regression analysis. In the relatively dark-skinned Cretan population, sun exposure indices represent the most important risk markers for CM which contrasts with data from fair-skinned Caucasian populations where melanocytic naevi are the main risk factors.

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