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December 2009

Association Between Thin Melanomas and Atypical Nevi in Middle-aged and Older Men Possibly Attributable to Heightened Patient Awareness

Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(12):1457-1458. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2009.309

We read with interest the article “Melanoma in Middle-aged and Older Men” by Swetter et al.1 As the authors noted, men with atypical nevi presented with thinner melanomas than those who lacked atypical nevi. According to the study data, median tumor thickness in men with atypical nevi was 0.6 mm, whereas the median thickness was 1.15 mm in men without atypical nevi (P = .02). The authors suggest that men with atypical nevi may have greater knowledge and awareness of melanoma risk, resulting in earlier detection of their melanomas. Another explanation, suggested by Liu et al,2 is that patients with atypical or increased numbers of moles have more indolent melanomas and thus present with thinner tumors.

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