Malignant melanoma. Profile of an epidemic

R. M. Rifkin, M. R. Thomas, T. I. Mughal, J. S. Kaur, L. U. Krebs, W. A. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cutaneous malignant melanoma is occurring in epidemic proportions in the United States. To provide a profile of persons at risk and the epidemiologic features of malignant melanoma, we reviewed the records of 325 patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma seen at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center between 1973 and 1983. Most patients had fair skin, brown or blonde hair, blue or green eyes, and had difficulty in suntanning. The majority of melanomas (72%) developed in preexisting nevi. In women, melanomas were most common on the extremities, and in men they occurred most frequently on the trunk, head, or neck. The most frequently noted depth of invasion was Clark's level IV. At diagnosis, most of the patients (77%) were at stage I. We conclude that malignant melanoma constitutes a major disease problem in the Western United States that is largely preventable with appropriate physician and patient education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-46
Number of pages4
JournalWestern Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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