In Europe as a whole, survival from skin malignant melanoma (SMM) has increased constantly since the 1980s. The aim of the SUDCAN collaborative study was to compare the trends in the 5-year net survival from SMM and in related excess mortality rate between six European Latin countries (Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland). The data were extracted from the EUROCARE-5 database (end of follow-up: 01 January 2009). First, the net survival was studied over the 2000-2004 period using the Pohar-Perme estimator. For trend analyses, the study period was specific to each country. The results are reported from 1992 to 2004 in France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland and from 2000 to 2004 in Belgium and Portugal. The analyses were carried out using a flexible excess rate modeling. Over the 2000-2004 period, the 5-year net survival from SMM ranged from 79 (Portugal) to 90% (Switzerland). In all countries, net survival was higher in women versus men and in young versus old age groups. From 1992 to 2004, the 5-year net survival increased the most in the countries with the lowest survivals in 1992 (+9% in Italy and Spain vs. +2% in Switzerland or +4% in France). The differences between countries decreased between 1992 and 2004. Although survival increased to a lower or higher extent in all countries during the period studied, significant differences in net survival from SMM persisted among the six countries studied. Health policies should mainly enhance early diagnosis by increasing public awareness and with screening campaigns. Furthermore, new immunotherapies, which will be approved soon hopefully, should also be used to improve the outcomes of SMM treatment.
- Journal Article