Chapter

Cutaneous and Ocular Melanoma

STEPHEN B. GRUBER and BRUCE K. ARMSTRONG

in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention

Third edition

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195149616
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865062 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149616.003.0063
Cutaneous and Ocular Melanoma

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This chapter reviews the epidemiology of cutaneous and ocular melanomas. Cutaneous melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer. There were an estimated 160,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2002, more than 80% in developed countries, and 41,000 deaths, 66% in developing countries. Sun exposure is its major cause, although a variety of phenotypic and genotypic characteristics contribute substantially to the risk of this complex disease. Ocular melanoma is globally much less significant than cutaneous melanoma and shows little current evidence of uptrend in incidence, in contrast to the continuing uptrend in melanoma. Melanocytes that give risk to ocular melanomas lie principally in pigmentary epithelia that extend continuously from the choroid, a vascular membrane that separates the neural elements of the retina from the fibrous outer covering of the eye (the sclera), anteriorly to the ciliary body and iris.

Keywords: cutaneous melanoma; ocular melanoma; skin cancer; cancer risk; cancer epidemiology; cancer prevention

Chapter.  35290 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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