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June 1987

Possible Association Between Malignant Melanoma and Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Boston University School of Public Health 80 E Concord St Boston, MA 02118-2394; Department of Dermatology; Department of Hematology-Oncology Massachusetts General Hospital 32 Fruit St Boston, MA 02114

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(6):712-713. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660300028005

To the Editor.—  We are writing to call attention to a possible association between malignant melanoma and breast carcinoma. As physicians caring for patients with melanoma, we have encountered 22 patients (21 women and one man) at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, who have also had an antecedent or subsequent history of breast cancer. Their clinical data are outlined in the Table.The patients' median age is 47 years (range, 23 to 65 years), with the median interval between the two primary cancers being four years (range, six months to 33 years). One third of the patients had both tumors diagnosed within 1½ years. Melanoma was the initial primary cancer in 12 cases, while breast cancer was the first tumor in nine. Seven patients received adjuvant therapy of some type after the first diagnosis of cancer. In most instances, the histologic features of superficial spreading melanoma and infiltrating ductal