Original paper

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 885-897

First online:

Early-life sun exposure and risk of melanoma before age 40 years

  • Anne E. CustAffiliated withCentre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic (MEGA) Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of MelbourneCancer Epidemiology and Services Research (CESR), Sydney School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney Email author 
  • , Mark A. JenkinsAffiliated withCentre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic (MEGA) Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne
  • , Chris GoumasAffiliated withCancer Epidemiology and Services Research (CESR), Sydney School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney
  • , Bruce K. ArmstrongAffiliated withCancer Epidemiology and Services Research (CESR), Sydney School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney
  • , Helen SchmidAffiliated withWestmead Institute for Cancer Research, Millennium Institute and Melanoma Institute Australia, University of Sydney at Westmead
  • , Joanne F. AitkenAffiliated withViertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, Cancer Council Queensland
  • , Graham G. GilesAffiliated withCentre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic (MEGA) Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of MelbourneCancer Epidemiology Centre, Cancer Council Victoria
  • , Richard F. KeffordAffiliated withWestmead Institute for Cancer Research, Millennium Institute and Melanoma Institute Australia, University of Sydney at Westmead
  • , John L. HopperAffiliated withCentre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic (MEGA) Epidemiology, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne
    • , Graham J. MannAffiliated withWestmead Institute for Cancer Research, Millennium Institute and Melanoma Institute Australia, University of Sydney at Westmead

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Objective

To examine associations between early-life sun exposure and risk of invasive cutaneous melanoma diagnosed between ages 18 and 39 years.

Methods

Data were analysed from 606 cases and 481 controls from the Australian Melanoma Family Study, a population-based, case–control-family study. Self- and parent-reported sun exposure was collected by interview. Odds ratios (OR) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression, adjusted for potential confounders.

Results

Self-reported childhood total sun exposure was not associated with melanoma overall, but was positively associated with melanoma diagnosed at 18–29 years of age (OR for highest vs. lowest quartile: 3.21, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.38–7.44; P trend 0.02; P interaction by age group 0.09). Analyses restricted to participants whose self-reported sun exposure was concordant with that recalled by their parents gave an OR for the highest versus lowest tertile of childhood total sun exposure of 2.28 (95% CI 1.03–5.04; P trend 0.05), and for any versus no severe childhood sunburn of 2.36 (95% CI 1.05–5.31). The association of self-reported severe sunburn with melanoma was evident only in people who tended to tan rather than burn and in people who had few nevi.

Conclusion

The association of early-life sun exposure with early-onset melanoma is influenced by host factors.

Keywords

Melanoma Sun exposure Early-onset Sunburn