gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

The malignant melanoma in Rheinland-Pfalz 1997-2002 – Analysis of cancer registry data

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Carolin Morcinietz - Johann-Wilhelm-Ritter-Klinik, Bad Rothenfelde, Mainz, Deutschland
  • Irene Schmidtmann - IMBEI, Klinkum der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
  • Gabriele Husmann - Krebsregister Rheinland-Pfalz, Registerstelle, Mainz
  • Maria Blettner - IMBEI, Klinkum der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO614

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Morcinietz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



We describe incidence, mortality, time trends, topography and morphology of malignant melanomas in Rheinland-Pfalz from 1997 to 2002. Information is obtained by analysing the data collected by the cancer registry and by official statistics for this period. We compare them with data from other cancer registries in Germany and Europe. The cancer registry registered 3601 malignant melanomas from 1997 to 2002, 1677 male and 1924 female cases in Rheinland-Pfalz. Age-standardised incidence rates over the whole period are 12.4/100000 for males and 12.6/100000 for females. Incident cases show a male to female ratio of 1:1.2. Age-standardised mortality rates are 2.3/100000 for men and 1.3/100000 for women. During the time period analysed, age-standardised incidence rates increased from 5.4/100000 to 15.7/100000 for men and from 6.8/100000 to 17.3/100000 for women. This trend is to a large extent due to the start of registration in Rheinland-Pfalz, but even after having attained complete registration melanoma incidence continues to increase. Although women have higher melanoma incidence they have lower mortality. The proportion of melanomas diagnosed in an early stage (Tis or T1) is higher in women. This is probably a cause for their lower mortality rates. Age-standardised incidence rates in Rheinland-Pfalz are in the highest tercile within Germany whereas age-standardised mortality rates are in the lowest tercile. The most frequently registered histological subtypes are superficially spreading melanoma (SMM), nodular melanoma and lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM). However, for more than 40% of registered melanoma there is no specific morphology available in the cancer registry. While the proportion of LMM increases with age the proportion of SSM decreases with age. The most frequently registered sites are skin of trunk (31%) and of upper limb (20%) in men, skin of lower limb (31%) and of upper limb (20%) in women. 14% of all cases do not have specific information on site. Case ascertainment for malignant melanoma is nearly complete in Rheinland-Pfalz, hence the cancer registry can provide valid results concerning incidence. The quality of notifications still requires some improvement. Then more detailed results concerning site, specific histology, stage distribution, and occasion of diagnosis will be available.