The German Melanoma Registry and Environmental Risk Factors Implied
There is no nationwide, population-based cancer registry in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). Only the cancer registry of the federal state of Saarland, a region with about 1 000 000 inhabitants bordering on France, has reliably documented the incidence of malignant melanoma in western Germany. The annual incidence of melanoma registered for this region in the mid-1980s was 6/10 0000 inhabitants for both sexes (age-adjusted for the European standard population) (Garbe et al. 1986). The increase in the incidence of melanoma in the 1970s documented by the Saarland cancer registry suggested that the incidence would double every 15 years (Garbe et al. 1986). This rate of increase is in good agreement with data from the two internationally longest existing cancer registries in Denmark and Connecticut (USA) (Houghton et al. 1980). However, the question arises whether the data from the Saarland cancer registry and the melanoma incidence derived from this more rural area are representative for the entire FRG. Another drawback of the Saarland cancer registry is that only the diagnoses were registered, without detailed information on histologic subtypes and other histologic or prognostic parameters and without documentation of possible risk factors for developing melanoma.
KeywordsMelanoma Patient Environmental Risk Factor Tumor Thickness Melanocytic Nevus Melanoma Risk
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