Ultraviolet Radiation and Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma
Essential features of the epidemiology and photobiology of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) in Norway were studied in comparison with data from countries at lower latitudes. Arguments for and against a relationship between ultraviolet radiation (UV) from sun and artiflcial light and CMM are discussed. Our data indicate that UV is a carcinogen for CMM and that intermittent exposures are notably melanomagenic. This hypothesis was supported both by latitude gradients, by time trends and by changing patterns of tumor density on different body localizations. However, even though UV radiation generates CMM, it may also have a protective action and/or an action that improves prognosis.
There appears to be no, or even an inverse latitude gradient for CMM arising on non-UV exposed body localizations (uveal melanoma, CMMs arising in the vulva, perianal/anorectal regions, etc.). Furthermore, CMM prognosis was gradually improved over ail years of increasing incidence (up to 1990), but during the past 20 years, incidence rates stabilized and prognosis was not improved significantly.
Comparisons of skin cancer data from Norway, Australia and New Zealand indicate that squamous cell carcinoma and basai cell carcinoma are mainly related to annual solar UVB fluences, while UVA fluences play a larger role of CMM.
KeywordsSkin Cancer Basal Cell Carcinoma Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma Uveal Melanoma Melanoma Risk
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