Cutaneous melanoma frequencies and seasonal trend in 20 years of observation of a population characterised by excessive sun exposure
Background: Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. It has become an increasingly common neoplasm in the most developed countries, especially among individuals of European origin.
Methods: Anonymous data of patients with cutaneous melanoma were collected from the diagnostic database of the University Hospital of Trieste from 1 January 1990 to 10 December 2013. Our study is based on a population which was constant over the period of observation; it was also well-defined and characterised by unrestrained sun exposure.
Results: The number of cutaneous melanomas increased during the period of observation with a seasonality trend and gender related differences both for anatomical sites distribution and stage of the disease. Moreover, 6% of our cohort developed multiple melanomas.
Conclusions: In a well-defined population devoted to excessive sun exposure the frequencies of skin melanomas roughly doubled from 1990 to 2013 following a seasonal trend. In that population, prevention efforts according to gender specific risk behaviour, as well as follow-up programmes both for evaluation of metastatic spreading and for early diagnosis of additional skin melanomas, are crucial due to gender specific differences and to the occurrence of multiple melanomas.