Background For many decades, cutaneous melanoma rates have been reported to increase, although some years ago, some indications were found that in some European countries, these increasing trends might be levelling off. Moreover, although incidence information is available, very limited data are available on melanoma incidence by stage.
Aim To give an overview of state of the art incidence and trends of cutaneous melanoma in Europe (by country), and predict the incidence up to 2015 based on historical trends. Secondly, to describe the stage-distribution of all incident cutaneous malignant melanoma cases in Europe.
Methods A retrospective database analysis was performed on data from >20 population based cancer registries in Europe. Expected numbers of melanoma cases and incidence rates were calculated by trend modeling of observed rates for melanoma between 1990 (or first available year after 1990) until the most recent available year (mostly between 2004 and 2007) by 5-year age categories and sex. Population sizes as projected by Eurostat were used to transform the projected age-specific incidence rates into expected numbers of cases by age and sex. Incidence rates were fitted to four different models and predictions were based on the best fitted model.
Results The highest adjusted incidence rates in 2010 were found for Denmark; 21.5 per 100 000 person years for men and 26.1 for females (European Standardized Rates ESR). Portugal had the lowest adjusted incidence rates; ESR 4.6 for males and 6.2 for females. In general higher incidence rates were found for females compared to males. The increase in total numbers of patients with malignant melanoma was steepest in Sweden with an increase of 84% among men and 86% among females between 2010 and 2015. Lowest increases in incidence rates were seen for Northern Portugal and Poland. Only for female citizens of Iceland the incidence rate decreased by 2015.
Results by stage are currently being processed and will be presented at the congress.
Conclusion Melanoma incidence rates all over Europe continue to increase, which translates into an ever increasing burden for general practitioners, dermatologists and surgeons all over Europe. This increase will probably continue after 2015.