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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1990 Aug;23(2 Pt 1):308-10.

Years of potential life lost: another indicator of the impact of cutaneous malignant melanoma on society.

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Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02118.


Years of potential life lost (YPLL) is an indicator of premature mortality that complements traditional incidence and mortality rates and that facilitates comparisons among different cancers. We calculated YPLL from cutaneous melanoma and 11 other cancers routinely recorded and tracked by Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER). YPLL from cutaneous melanoma ranked eighth for persons younger than 65 years of age and fourth for those 20 to 49 years of age. An average of 17.1 YPLL per death were due to melanoma, one of the highest rates for adult-onset cancers. The results of our study, the first to apply YPLL to cutaneous melanoma, emphasize the disproportionate impact of this cancer on young and middle-aged adults and reemphasize the importance of this cancer as a public health priority.

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