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Abstract

A long term increase in incidence of and mortality due to malignant melanoma has been observed in all well documented white populations. The major identified cause of melanoma is sun exposure. One would expect predictions of future atmospheric ozone depletion to lead to an increase in ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and in the effects of sun exposure. We consider age-period data for Canadian malignant malanoma mortality. We fit a multiplicative exponential/logistic (MEL) model to the data and extrapolate to AD 2010 hence yielding point estimates of future rates. We obtain total mortality forecasts by multiplying rates by population estimates. We present standard errors for forecasts. We forecast that melanoma will be a much larger burden on the health care system in the early years of the next century than it is at present. We obtain an age-cohort model by a simple transformation of the age-period model. Also, we obtain unconditional probabilities of death due to melanoma both for age-period and age-cohort models. We discuss the assumptions underlying the MEL model that suggest possible relationships between UVR and melanoma.