Spatial analysis of incidence of cutaneous melanoma in the friuli venezia giulia region in the period 1995-2005

Lorenzo Cecconi, Anna Busolin, Fabio Barbone, Diego Serraino, Alessandra Chiarugi, Annibale Biggeri, Dolores Catelan

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Incidence distribution of cutaneous melanoma depends on phenotypic characteristics of population and geographic location. In Italy, in the period 1999-2003 Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) region had the second highest incidence rates for males and the third for females. We analysed melanoma and lip cancer incidence data of the FVG cancer registry for the period 1995-2005. We used Bayesian hierarchical spatial models to describe the spatial pattern by gender. We decomposed the geographical distribution of the risk in two parts: a component linked to chronic exposure and a component related to intermittent exposure. In order to model the chronic component we considered the geographical distribution of incidence cases of lip cancer, for which chronic occupational solar radiation exposure is a documented risk factor. We also analysed the distribution by site and we calculated standardised rates for body surface area. This study documents a significant gradient in the incidence of cutaneous melanoma in FVG. High standardised incidence rates are present in the area of Trieste and in the coastal area. The descriptive analysis by age group and by site, showed risks associated with intermittent exposures in both genders. For the coastal area the risk is especially high for sites traditionally linked to high cumulative exposures (face and neck), especially among men. The results suggest diagnostic preventive interventions in the populations living in the area of Trieste, given the high rates observed in the young age groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number422
JournalGeospatial health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cutaneous melanoma
  • Hierarchical bayesian models
  • Skin cancer
  • Spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health(social science)


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