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February 1992

The Incidence of Malignant Melanoma in New South Wales-Reply

Author Affiliations

Discipline of Behavioural Science in Relation to Medicine University of Newcastle Newcastle, New South Wales 2308, Australia

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(2):271. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680120147023

In Reply.—  Long remarks on the unusually high number of subjects diagnosed as having a melanoma in our study of delay in the presentation of patients with possible symptoms.1 This apparent anomaly is due, in part, to a misunderstanding of the study methodology. Although only respondents who had noticed a possible sign of melanoma in the previous 12 months were questioned about their response to signs, we asked about their response to signs that they had noticed for the first time in the previous 5 years. The quoted incidence rate was, therefore, a 5-year incidence rate rather than a 12-month rate.If this rate of five cases in 5 years can be equated to one per year, the incidence rate in our sample is still quite high compared with the reported incidence rate for Australia: 74 cases per 100 000 subjects per year compared with 18 subjects per 100 000. This

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