Get access

Epidemiology of melanoma: is it still epidemic? What is the role of the sun, sunbeds, Vit D, betablocks, and others?


  • Author Contributions: Dr De Giorgi, Gori had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
  • Study concept and design: De Giorgi, Gori, Gandini
  • Analysis and interpretation of data: Grazzini
  • Acquisition of data: Rossari, Gori, Longo, Oranges
  • Drafting of the manuscript: De Giorgi, Gori
  • Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: De Giorgi, Gori, Lotti, Gandini
  • Study supervision: De Giorgi, Lotti, Gandini
  • Financial Disclosures: The authors have no relevant financial interest in this article.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Vincenzo De Giorgi, MD, Professor of Dermatology, Department of Dermatology, University of Florence, Piazza Indipendenza 11 – 50121 Firenze, Italy, or email:


The incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma is continuously increasing worldwide, but only minimal changes in mortality have been observed. This phenomenon has brought into question whether this increased incidence reflects a true or apparent melanoma epidemic. The most recent data suggest that this epidemiological trend may be explained by the existence of a certain degree of melanoma overdiagnosis, especially of thin lesions, which probably would never progress to advanced disease if left untreated. However, acute sun exposure and widespread use of sunbeds may also justify the increase in melanoma incidence. Recently, both vitamin D and beta-blocker use seem to play a beneficial role in melanoma progression.