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Global Burden of Melanoma Considerable, Set to Rise by 2040

If 2020 rates continue, burden estimated to increase by about 50 percent for incidence, 68 percent for deaths by 2040

By Physician's Briefing Staff | March 30, 2021

The global burden of melanoma is considerable and is expected to increase by 2040, according to a study published online March 30 in JAMA Dermatology .

Melina Arnold, Ph.D., from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and colleagues examined global patterns of cutaneous melanoma in 2020 and calculated the estimated numbers of cases and deaths for 2040 using data from the GLOBOCAN 2020 database.

The researchers estimated 325,000 new melanoma cases and 57,000 deaths worldwide for 2020. Across countries and world regions, there were large geographic variations observed, with the highest incidence rates among males and females seen in Australia/New Zealand (42 and 31, respectively, per 100,000 person-years), followed by Western Europe (19 and 19 per 100,000 person-years), North America (18 and 14 per 100,000 person-years), and Northern Europe (17 and 18 per 100,000 person-years). In most African and Asian countries, melanoma continued to be rare, with incidence rates usually less than one per 100,000 person-years. The peak mortality rates were five per 100,000 person-years in New Zealand; geographic variations in mortality rates were less pronounced. Assuming the 2020 rates continue, the burden from melanoma is estimated to increase to 510,000 new cases and 96,000 deaths by 2040 (increases of about 50 and 68 percent, respectively).

"This epidemiological assessment found a heavy public health and economic burden, and our projections suggest that it will remain so in the coming decades," the authors write.

One author disclosed receipt of personal fees from Amgen.

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