Objective: To document the epidemiology of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) in Jamaica over the 50-year period, 1958–2007.
Methods: All cases of CMM recorded in the Jamaica Cancer Registry (JCR), for the period 1958–2007, were collected. For each case, we documented method of ascertainment, age, gender and anatomical location. Age standardized incidence rates (ASRs) for the seven five-year periods from 1973–2007 were also obtained from the JCR.
Results: There were 220 cases of CMM from 218 patients (131 females, 87 males; male:female ratio 1:1.5), ranging in age from 21 to 98 years (median age 62 years). The majority of cases (94%) were ascertained via biopsy. The ASRs fluctuated around 0.9 per 100 000 per year from 1973 to 2007, ranging from 0.6–1.4 per 100 000 per year in females and 0.5–1.1 per 100 000 per year in males. Cutaneous malignant melanoma was most common in the lower limb (59% of males and 69% of females). The foot was the most common lower limb site (female: 77%, male: 83%) and the commonest site overall (female: 53%, male: 49%).
Conclusion: In Jamaica, CMM is more common in females than in males. In both genders, the ASRs were noted to be low and fluctuated around 0.9 per 100 000 per year since 1973. The lower limb is the commonest anatomical site, with the majority of cases involving the foot. These findings are similar to those documented in other predominantly Black populations.