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U.S. adolescent malignant melanoma nearly halved during 2000-2014



U.S. incidence rates of malignant melanoma in adolescents fell by nearly half during 2000-2014, based on information from a National Cancer Institute database.

The substantial drop in new cases of malignant melanoma in Americans aged 10-19 years over the most recent 15-year period with data available contrasts with a stable rate among children aged 0-9 years, and a steadily rising rate among adults during the same period, Ryan C. Kelm said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Mr. Ryan C. Kelm of Northwestern University, Chicago Mitchel L. Zoler/Frontline Medical News

Mr. Ryan C. Kelm

The findings also confirmed that malignant melanoma is significantly more common in girls, regardless of whether they are aged 0-9 years, or 10-19 years. In addition, girls aged 10-19 years have significantly better 5-year relative survival, compared with boys that age, with rates of 97% and 93%, respectively, said Mr. Kelm, a researcher in the department of dermatology at Northwestern University, Chicago. Relative survival after 5 years among girls and boys aged 0-9 years was 94%. These rates were up from those reported for 2001 in the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) Program, when 5-year relative survival was 89% among all children and 92% among all adolescents (J Clin Oncol. 2005 July 20;23[21]:4735-41).

Mr. Kelm and his associates studied U.S. data compiled from 2000 to 2014 by the SEER Program, maintained by the National Cancer Institute. They identified 1,796 patients aged 0-19 years diagnosed with malignant melanoma (218 children and 1,578 adolescents). The overall incidence rate for the entire 15-year period was just over 1 case per million among children and just under 9 cases per million among adolescents. In contrast, the adult U.S. incidence rate estimates for 2018 are pegged at 260 per million among non-Hispanic whites, 40 per million among Hispanics, and 10 per million among black Americans, according to the American Cancer Society.


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