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Melanoma, Skin Neoplasms


Prepared by the Clinical Guidelines Committee


The incidence of cutaneous melanoma in Ireland has risen by 3% between 1997 and 2001 (National Cancer Registry Ireland 2005) with an average of 401 reported cases per year. Cutaneous melanoma accounts for 2% of all new invasive cancer cases in Ireland and 1% of all cancer deaths annually (n= 64). There is a higher incidence in women (female:male ratio 249:153) and the average age of presentation is 50 years. Melanoma occurs primarily in white people and the two major aetiological risk factors are sun sensitivity and exposure to ultraviolet radiation (primarily sun exposure) (Gandini S et al 2005). Level I evidence: The outcome from melanoma depends on the stage at presentation. Patients with early stage disease (i.e. <1.0mm thick) achieve longterm survival in more than 90% of cases (Greene FL et al 2002). For patients with melanomas greater than 1.0mm thickness, survival rates range from 90% to 50%. Long-term survival in patients with visceral metastases is less than 10%. The importance of early detection and appropriate management of melanoma cannot be overemphasised as this is a condition which often affects patients at a young age and one that is clinically detectable at an early stage when it is potentially curable but that is relatively resistant to current therapeutic strategies in its later stages. Introduction 4


Medicine and Health Sciences | Surgery


Clinical Guidelines Committee. Management of Cutaneous Melanoma Clinical Guidelines. Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 2006.

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