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Medical News & Perspectives
May 1, 2002

"Epidemic" of Malignant Melanoma

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JAMA. 2002;287(17):2201. doi:10.1001/jama.287.17.2201-JMN0501-2-1

New Orleans—In 1930, an American's lifetime risk of developing invasive malignant melanoma (MM) was estimated to be one in 1500. Today, the estimated risk is 1 in 68.

An estimated 53 600 Americans will be diagnosed as having invasive MM this year, and 7400 Americans are expected to die of this disease, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS reports that MM is the fifth most common cancer in men and sixth most common in women. These data exclude in situ MM, which will be diagnosed in an estimated 34 300 Americans, and basal- and squamous-cell skin cancers.