Prevention of malignant melanoma

Hippokratia 2008, 12(1):17-21

G. Chaidemenos, A. Stratigos, M. Papakonstantinou, F. Tsatsou


The results of Primary Prevention programs, aiming at the decrease of melanoma incidence, were less encouraging than those of Secondary prevention which aims at an early diagnosis of malignant melanoma. Australia was the country with the best results obtained in both Prevention strategies, especially in avoiding intense, though intermittent, UV exposure.The success of these programs encouraged health authorities to initiate their application to other disorders. New sunscreens containing substances correcting the UV-damaged DNA may offer a promising result in the decades to come.However, so far no one epidemiological study has proved the prevention of malignant melanoma with the use of sun protecting agents. A meta-analysis verified the connection between melanoma and solarium use. The protective role of vitamin D in the development of prostate, breast and colon cancer was shown in a meta-analysis. The authors, however,suggest that fair-skinned persons should take oral supplementation of vitamin D, instead of exposing themselves to the sun. The Hellenic Society of Dermatology and Venereology published the results of 5-year-prevention programs in Greece. Their favorable results in the early diagnosis of melanoma justify an intense continuation of these efforts.