Trends in Malignant Melanoma Incidence and Mortality in Wisconsin, 1979-1997

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WIsconsin Medical Journal

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Wisconsin Medical Society





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OBJECTIVE: To explore trends in malignant melanoma incidence and mortality in Wisconsin from 1979 to 1997, by age, gender and time period. Comparisons are also made to US trends over this period.

DATA: Incidence data for Wisconsin were provided by the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System Bureau of Health Information, within the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, while US data were extracted using SEER*Stat 3.0. Mortality data for both Wisconsin and the US were compiled using CDC WONDER.

RESULTS: Wisconsin malignant melanoma incidence rates rose 25% from 1979 to 1998, compared to a US increase of 132%. For mortality rates, however, both Wisconsin (22%) and the US (15%) exhibited only modest increases. Between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s, the largest increases in both incidence and mortality (over 70%) occurred among males over age 65. In contrast, declines of 30% to 40% were found for males age 0-34. Patterns were less consistent among females.

CONCLUSIONS: Since the mid-1980s, malignant melanoma incidence in Wisconsin appears to have increased sharply among males and females over age 65, with a corresponding rise in mortality among males in this age group. These trends should be a source of concern for clinicians and policy makers alike. Because current evidence on the effectiveness of early treatment is inconclusive, it is especially important to take preventive measures now--such as educational and community-based interventions--to reduce future incidence.


Originally published by the Wisconsin Medical Society. Publisher's PDF available through remote link. Must click on corresponding publication.
Note: Eric Reither was affiliated with the University of Wisconsin - Madison at time of publication.

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