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August 1991

Invasive Cutaneous Melanoma in Elderly Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Specialized Center for Cancer Research and Education, the Division of Surgical Oncology of the University of Illinois Medical Center, Cook County Hospital, West Side Veterans Affairs Hospital, and Hektoen Institute for Medical Research, Chicago, Ill. Drs Loggie and Bean are now with the Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, and the University of Miami (Fla), respectively.

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(8):1188-1193. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680070088011

• Clinical and pathologic variables were compared between "older" (≥70 years) and "younger" (30 to 39 years) patients with primary invasive cutaneous melanoma. Older patients had more nodular melanomas and acral lentiginous melanomas (58%); superficial spreading melanomas predominated in younger patients (74%). Mean tumor thickness was greater in the older patients (3.95 vs 2.02 mm). Invasive levels 2 and 3 occurred more often in younger patients (41.1% vs 13%); level 5 occurred more often in older patients (30.4% vs 5.3%). Microscopic ulceration occurred more often in older (46.4%) than in younger patients (19.4%). Older patients classified as clinical stage I at presentation or with primary lesions 1.50- to 3.00-mm thick had poorer survival. Younger women survived longer than younger men; this was not true of older patients. The elderly patients with cutaneous melanoma were more likely to have poor prognostic features and thus more likely to die from melanoma than the younger patients.

(Arch Dermatol. 1991;127:1188-1193)

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