Which age groups have the highest prevalence of cutaneous melanoma?

Updated: Oct 13, 2020
  • Author: Susan M Swetter, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The median age at melanoma diagnosis is 63 years; however, it is the most common cancer in women aged 25-29 years and is second only to breast cancer in women aged 30-34 years. The most striking differences in melanoma incidence and mortality occur in individuals older than 65 years, although modest differences in age-specific incidence and mortality are notable in persons older than 50 years. [24]

Older individuals are both more likely to acquire and to die from melanoma; thus, elderly persons should be a primary target for secondary melanoma prevention, including early detection and screening. [25] Treatment options in elderly persons may also be limited because of comorbid medical conditions, an inability to tolerate adverse medication effects or toxicity, the increased likelihood of drug interactions, and potential exclusion from clinical trials based on age criteria. [25]


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