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Melanoma Res. 2011 Dec;21(6):535-40. doi: 10.1097/CMR.0b013e328349420f.

Risk-adjusted melanoma skin cancer incidence rates in Whites (United States).

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Department of Health Science at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.


The objective of this study was to obtain a better population-based measure of risk for melanoma skin cancer. A method has been previously proposed for estimating cancer incidence rates for data collected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program. Unlike conventionally reported incidence rates in the USA, this method uses the first primary cancer and adjusts for population-based cancer prevalence to obtain a better measure of cancer risk. The study involves SEER data for white men and women. Conventional melanoma incidence rates overestimate risk for men, increasingly so from 3.3% in the age group of 30-39 years to 11.3% in the age group of 80 years and older. Overestimation in risk for women ranged from 3.3% in the age group of 30-39 years to 8.9% in the age group of 80 years and older. Overestimation of risk was more pronounced when both in-situ and malignant melanomas were considered. Increasing trends in conventional rates were slightly greater than trends in risk-adjusted incidence rates (RAIRs). In 2007, the estimated number of cases with malignant melanoma among the white population based on conventional cancer incidence rates is 37 636 (64 125 including in-situ cases) for men and 28 935 (49 361 including in-situ cases) for women. The estimated number of cases in the USA based on RAIRS is 34 652 [(7.9%); 55 413 (13.6%) including in-situ cases] for male and 27 178 [(6.1%); 44 467 (9.9%) including in-situ cases] for women. We concluded that RAIRs are a better measure of melanoma skin cancer risk and should be used for estimating the number of cancer patients in the USA.

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