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Evidence-Based Dermatology: Research Commentary
June 2000

The Relationship Between Melanoma and Continuous or Intermittent Exposure to UV Radiation

Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(6):773-774. doi:10.1001/archderm.136.6.773

Association of cutaneous malignant melanoma with intermittent exposure to ultraviolet radiation: results of a case-control study in Ontario, CanadaWalter SD, King WD, Marrett, LDInt J Epidemiol. 1999;28:418-427

Sun exposure is a well-established major risk factor for the development of melanoma, according to a 1992 work group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which stated that there is "sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of solar radiation." Walter et al point out that "less clear, however, is how the pattern and timing of solar UV exposure might be important and how UV exposure interacts with other risk factors such as skin type."1(p227) The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of melanoma risk with various measures of intermittent and continuous exposure to UV radiation and with the time of exposure (adolescence or adult life) and to assess how these exposures interact with other risk factors, such as skin type.