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Tumori. 1990 Oct 31;76(5):439-49.

The influence of female hormones on malignant melanoma.

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  • 1Epidemiology Unit, Aviano Cancer Center, Pordenone, Italy.


Several lines of biological evidence have suggested a relationship between the behaviour of melanocytes and cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) and the action of female hormones. The present overview, however, indicates that the effect of reproductive, menstrual and hormonal factors, including oral contraceptives, on onset and outcome of CMM must be very weak, if any. The only consistent findings which may suggest a role of female hormones on CMM seem to be: 1) a different distribution by anatomic site in men and women, and 2) a more favorable outcome of CMM in women as compared to men. Neither of them, however, necessarily implies a direct effect of female hormones on CMM.

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