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Skin cancer in Greenland 1955–1974

  • N. P. Kromann
  • N. Højgaard Nielsen
  • J. P. Hart Hansen
Original Papers Clinical Oncology or Epidemiology

Summary

During the period from 1955 to 1974, a total of 23 cases of skin cancer in indigenous Greenlanders was diagnosed, 15 in males and eight in females. There were ten basal cell carcinomas, four squamous-cell carcinomas, five malignant melanomas of the skin, and four sarcomas. Eight of the ten basal cell carcinomas were located on the head, half of these on the eyelids. Three of the four squamous-cell carcinomas were found on the lower lip. The number of malignant melanomas in females and the number of remaining, nonmelanotic skin cancers in both males and females were significantly lower than expexted if the incidence in the Greenland population had been the same as in Denmark. Since recent investigations seem to indicate that the annual ultraviolet radiation is of almost the same magnitude as in northwest Europe, the low incidence may be due to less skin exposure and/or ethnic factors such as a higher degree of pigmentation. No accumulation of cases within definite geographical areas was found and no occupational clustering was apparent. As regards both squamous-cell carcinomas and malignant melanomas, the degree of metastases and survival indicated that Greenlandic patients sought medical assistance very late.

Key words

Skin cancer Incidence Ultraviolet rays Eskimo Greenland 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. P. Kromann
    • 1
  • N. Højgaard Nielsen
    • 2
  • J. P. Hart Hansen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyFinsen InstituteCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of PathologyRigshospitaletCopenhagen ØDenmark
  3. 3.Department of PathologyGentofte HospitalDenmark

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