• Hazard-rate analysis provides a unique means of assessing prognosis in patients with malignant disease. The hazard rate is the probability of a patient dying within a particular unit of time after definitive therapy. Hazardrate analysis was performed on a series of 719 consecutive patients with clinical stage I cutaneous malignant melanoma (MM). The peak hazard rate for death from metastatic MM occurred during the 48th month of followup. Thereafter, the hazard rate declined and approached zero by the 120th month. When the patients were stratified by the thickness of their primary MM, thicker lesions reached their peak hazard-rate month earlier than thinner lesions. We conclude that after 120-month survival, the risk of dying from MM is virtually zero. However, since rare late deaths from MM occur, lifetime follow-up is recommended.
(Arch Dermatol 1986;122:999-1002)