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J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1981 Apr;7(4):311-6.

Correlation of thicknesses of superficial spreading malignant melanomas and ages of patients.


In a prospective study of 455 consecutive patients with superficial spreading malignant melanomas entered into the data base of the Melanoma Cooperative Group of New York University Medical Center, it was found by linear-regression analysis that there is a statistically significant (p = 0.005) positive correlation between the ages of the patients and the thickness of their lesions. Although the reasons for the correlation between ages and thicknesses ae not certain, several possible explanations were considered, namely: (1) the greater prevalence of superficial spreading malignant melanomas in the aged on the lower limbs where thicker lesions were present in our patients, (2) the altered skin of the elderly, which may favor deeper penetration by these neoplasms, (3) impaired immunologic responses in the aged, (4) the delay in diagnosis of malignant melanomas in the elderly because of obsuration of them by numerous benign pigmented lesions that frequently develop with aging, and (5) lesser concern of the elderly with their physical appearances in particular and medical problems in general.

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