Anatomic site, sun exposure, and risk of cutaneous melanoma

Whiteman, David C., Stickley, Mark, Watt, Peter, Hughes, Maria Celia, Davis, Marcia B. and Green, Adele C. (2006) Anatomic site, sun exposure, and risk of cutaneous melanoma. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 24 19: 3172-3177.


Author Whiteman, David C.
Stickley, Mark
Watt, Peter
Hughes, Maria Celia
Davis, Marcia B.
Green, Adele C.
Title Anatomic site, sun exposure, and risk of cutaneous melanoma
Journal name Journal of Clinical Oncology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0732-183X
1527-7755
Publication date 2006-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1200/JCO.2006.06.1325
Volume 24
Issue 19
Start page 3172
End page 3177
Total pages 6
Place of publication Alexandria, VA, United States
Publisher American Society of Clinical Oncology
Language eng
Formatted abstract PURPOSE: Sunlight is the principal environmental risk factor for cutaneous melanoma. A current hypothesis postulates that the role of sunlight in causing melanoma differs according to anatomic site. We tested this hypothesis in a population-based case-case comparative study of melanoma patients.
METHODS: Patients were sampled from the Queensland cancer registry in three groups: superficial spreading or nodular melanomas of the trunk (n = 154), of the head and neck (HN; n = 76), and lentigo maligna (LM) and lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM; for both LM and LMM, n = 76). Data were collected on school-age sun exposure and occupational and recreational sun exposure in adulthood. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% CIs were calculated using polytomous logistic regression.
RESULTS: HN melanoma patients were substantially more likely than trunk patients to have higher levels of sun exposure in adulthood (OR, 2.43; 95% CI, 0.98 to 5.99) and specifically, higher levels of occupational exposure (OR, 3.25; 95% CI, 1.32 to 8.00), but lower levels of recreational sun exposure (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.21 to 1.19). LM and LMM patients reported higher occupational exposure and lower recreational sun exposure than trunk melanoma patients, although this was not significant. We found no significant differences between the groups for school-age sun exposures.
CONCLUSION: Melanomas developing at different body sites are associated with distinct patterns of sun exposure. Melanomas of the head and neck are associated with chronic patterns of sun exposure whereas trunk melanomas are associated with intermittent patterns of sun exposure, supporting the hypothesis that melanomas may arise through divergent causal pathways.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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