Among men, melanoma incidence increased most on the trunk, head, and neck and in women on the leg. Five-year survival increased from 58% to 80% for men diagnosed in 1979 and 1993, respectively, and from 74% to 85% for women. The overall male death-rate from melanoma was 1.9/100,000 population per year at the start and end of the study, whereas mortality for men younger than 65 years at diagnosis rose from 1.2 to 1.35. For all women, the death rate from skin cancer decreased from 1.9 to 1.85/100,000 population per year, whereas for women younger than 65 years at diagnosis, mortality fell from 1.3 to 1.15.
Rona MacKie comments: "Our data shows that while the number of people in Scotland who develop melanoma is increasing each year, they appear to be recognising that they have a problem and are seeking treatment at an earlier stage. This explains the fact that mortality from melanoma has changed very little over the past 20 years. We still need to encourage a change in sun-exposure behaviour which, over a period of time, should lead to a reduction in melanoma incidence." (quote by e-mail; does not appear in published paper).
Contact: Professor Rona MacKie, Department of Dermatology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK; T) +44 (0)141 955 0320; F +44 (0)141 955 0696; E) R.M.MacKie@clinmed.gla.ac.uk