Clinicopathological Analysis of 1571 Cutaneous Malignant Melanomas in Valencia, Spain: Factors Related to Tumour Thickness
Eduardo NAGORE, Vicente OLIVER, Rafael BOTELLA-ESTRADA, Salvador MORENO-PICOT, Carlos GUILLéN, José M. FORTEA
Epidemiological studies on cutaneous melanoma in Mediterranean countries are scarce. Our aim was to perform a descriptive analysis of melanoma cases diagnosed in Valencia, Spain, and to evaluate the relationship between Breslow thickness and some clinical features. A total of 1571 patients with histologically confirmed cutaneous malignant melanoma diagnosed at the two main referral melanoma centres were evaluated retrospectively. For each patient the following clinical and pathological characteristics were selected: age, gender, anatomic site, histogenetic type, Breslow thickness, presence of ulceration, the stage, and symptoms such as bleeding, changes in size and colour, altered sensations and previous traumas. Chi-squared tests were performed together with logistic regression to evaluate the relationship of variables with tumour thickness. Tumour thickness was independently correlated with increasing age, presence of bleeding, location on hand or foot, and presence of altered sensations. Female sex and presence of a change in colour were associated with thin melanomas. Ideally, public awareness campaigns concerning the risks that exist should be aimed at subgroups such as men and people of an advanced age who generally present with thicker tumours. Emphasis should be placed on irregularities or changes in pigmentation, as these appear to be the first indicators of the development of a melanoma.