Melanoma Incidence and Mortality in Europe

New Estimates, Persistent Disparities

A.M. Forsea; V. del Marmol; E. de Vries; E.E. Bailey; A.C. Geller


The British Journal of Dermatology. 2012;167(5):1124-1130. 

In This Article


Current Estimates of Incidence and Mortality of Melanoma in Europe

The estimated age-standardized incidence of melanoma (cases per 100 000 residents) varies widely within Europe (Fig. 1), from the highest rate of 19·2 in Switzerland to the lowest of 2·8 in Romania and 2·2 in Greece. CEE appears to have the lowest incidence rates in Europe (4·3), an estimated 40% of those of Western Europe and 33% of those of the Northern European countries.

Figure 1.

Estimates of incidence and mortality rates of melanoma in Europe, 2008 (GLOBOCAN 2008), measured as cases per 100 000 residents. Blue columns, melanoma incidence age-standardized world rates (ASWRs). Red columns, melanoma mortality ASWRs. aCountries with no national cancer registries but with regional registries (cf. Table 1). bCountries with no national/regional registry, where estimates were made through modelling from neighbouring countries (cf. Table 1).

Melanoma mortality, per 100 000 residents (Fig. 1), ranges between the highest rates of 3·2 in Norway to the lowest of 1·0 and 0·9 in Romania and Greece, respectively. Mortality rates are similar for Western Europe and CEE (1·5), and are situated between those of Northern Europe (2·0) and Southern Europe (1·3). It is estimated that there were 20 087 deaths from melanoma in Europe in 2008, 7131 of which were recorded in CEE (Fig. 2).

Figure 2.

Estimated number of deaths caused by melanoma in the European regions in 2008 (GLOBOCAN 2008). Percentages represent the proportion of the total number of melanoma deaths in Europe estimated for each European region.

Sex Distribution of Melanoma Incidence and Mortality in Europe

From the GLOBOCAN 2008 estimates (Fig. 3), all Western European countries, with the exception of Austria, have higher incidence rates for women than for men, and the same trend is apparent for most Northern European countries. In contrast, for most of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, incidence rates are higher in men. Melanoma mortality is higher in men compared with women throughout Europe.

Figure 3.

Sex ratio in mortality and incidence estimates for melanoma in Europe, 2008 (GLOBOCAN 2008). (a) Northern European countries, (b) Central and Eastern European countries, (c) Western European countries, (d) Southern European countries. Blue columns, melanoma incidence age-standardized world rates (ASWRs). Red columns, melanoma mortality ASWRs.