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Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Mar 1;165(5):505-13. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

Reproductive risk factors for cutaneous melanoma in women: a case-control study.

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  • 1Statistics and Epidemiology Program, Research Triangle Institute International, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.


Reproductive hormonal factors may have a potential role in cutaneous melanoma. This study estimated the risk of melanoma in women related to self-reported changes in nevi during pregnancy, while using oral contraceptives and/or hormone replacement therapy. Trained interviewers administered a questionnaire obtaining information about oral contraceptive use, hormone replacement therapy, reproductive history, sun exposure, occupation, and medical history from 318 Caucasian women newly diagnosed between 1991 and 1992 from two pigmented lesion clinics in San Francisco, California, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A total of 395 frequency-matched control participants were recruited from hospital-affiliated outpatient clinics. Clinicians conducted skin examinations to assess the number and type of nevi, extent of freckling, solar damage, and skin type. For women aged less than 55 years, there was an association between a livebirth 5 years before diagnosis (odds ratio = 2.6, 95% confidence interval: 1.3, 5.3) and between number of births and melanoma risk (for > or = 3 births: odds ratio = 3.3, 95% confidence interval: 1.7, 6.5; ptrend < 0.001). Changes in nevi during recent pregnancies were a risk factor for melanoma, based upon small numbers (odds ratio = 2.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 8.1). Oral contraceptive use and hormone replacement therapy were not associated with melanoma risk.

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