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Clinical characteristics, management and survival in young adults diagnosed with malignant melanoma: A population-based cohort study
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2014 (English)In: Acta Oncologica, ISSN 0284-186X, E-ISSN 1651-226X, Vol. 53, no 5, 688-696 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background. Few studies to date have described the clinical features of malignant melanoma in young adulthood. Also, little is known about patterns of care in young patients. We examined and compared clinical characteristics, management and survival between young adult (15-39 years) and older adult melanoma patients in Central Sweden. Material and methods. Patients diagnosed with invasive malignant melanoma between 1997 and 2011 were identified in the Regional Quality Register of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma in Central Sweden, a population-based register covering a source population of about two million. Data on clinical characteristics, management and survival were retrieved and compared according to age at diagnosis. Results. Of 5915 patients included in the study, 584 (9.9%) were between 15 and 39 years of age at diagnosis. Compared with older patients, young adult patients were more likely to be female, with higher proportions of thin, non-ulcerated melanomas, superficial spreading melanoma and melanomas located on the lower extremity. Young adults had shorter waiting times for surgical procedures and a higher proportion received surgical treatment according to guidelines. Overall, young patients had better relative survival than older patients. Age-related survival differences varied by stage of disease at diagnosis, and were most prominent in stage II disease. Conclusion. The observed differences in clinical characteristics, management and survival between young adult and older melanoma patients call for an improved understanding of not only disease etiology but also factors driving management decisions. A better understanding of these differences may help improve care and prognosis for melanoma patients of all ages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 53, no 5, 688-696 p.
National Category
Cancer and Oncology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-224990DOI: 10.3109/0284186X.2013.854928ISI: 000334740000015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-224990DiVA: diva2:719784
Available from: 2014-05-27 Created: 2014-05-26 Last updated: 2014-05-27Bibliographically approved

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