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Melanoma Res. 2004 Aug;14(4):301-9.

Mortality from cutaneous malignant melanoma in Europe. Has the epidemic levelled off?

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Laboratory of Epidemiology, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Milan, Italy.


Trends of mortality from cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) between 1960 and 1999 in several European countries and the European Union (EU) as a whole have been reviewed, using death certification data for skin cancer available from the World Health Organization. Separate analyses were performed for young (i.e., age 20-44 years) and middle-aged (i.e., age 45-64 years) adults, among whom around 80-90% of skin cancer deaths are attributable to CMM. After steady rises between 1960 and 1990, skin cancer rates among young adults have tended to decline since the mid-1990s in several European countries, with a fall of 14% in men and of 11% in women in the EU as a whole. In middle-aged adults, the trends were less favourable, although mortality started to level off since the mid-1990s. Thus, our data provide further evidence of an improvement of CMM mortality trends in recent years in several European countries. The particularly favourable trends in young people suggest that a further decline in mortality from CMM in Europe is likely to occur within the next few years.

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