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January 1981

Occupational Clustering of Melanoma

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(1):1-2. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650010005003

To the Editor.—  Malignant melanoma makes up 1.4% of the cancer cases in the United States (4.6/100,000 men).1 In southern Florida, however, it accounts for 3.6% of the cancer cases.2 This differential occurrence of melanoma has generally been attributed to sunlight exposure.3 Other possible causative factors such as hormones4 and genetics5 have been incriminated. Although geographic patterns in the occurrence of melanoma have been observed,6 no clustering (other than familial) has been described. The occurrence of three cases of malignant melanoma among law enforcement officers in a single municipality in southern Florida is, therefore, remarkable. The patients were employed at the same place (a sheriff's office that had 715 employees). Using person years of exposure (2.5 years) and a crude expected incidence rate (adjusted to the Florida proportion), the three cases represent a 14.2-fold occurrence of melanoma over the expected normal incidence for this group of

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