Background: There is evidence from cohort studies for an inverse association between atopic dermatitis and asthma and cutaneous melanoma. However, these studies have been too heterogeneous and did not show statistically significant results. Also, this association has not been compared to traditional melanoma risk factors. Objectives: To test for associations between history of atopic disorders and melanoma life-time prevalence, and for associations between atopic disorders and melanoma prognosis. Methods: Validated questionnaires from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey and International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Children protocol on life-time prevalence of atopic disorders were sent to 280 patients with histopathologically confirmed melanoma. The control group consisted of their spouses. The skin phototype was also assessed using a validated questionnaire. Results: One hundred and eighty-four melanoma patients and 169 controls responded to the questionnaire. The life-time prevalence of atopic dermatitis and hayfever was not different in melanoma patients (8.7 % vs. 8.2, p = 0.890 and 15.2 vs. 18.3 %, p = 0.432, respectively). Asthma was non-significantly lower in melanoma patients (3.8 vs. 8.2 %, p = 0.075). Atopic melanoma patients did not differ from non-atopic patients in terms of Breslow thickness, metastases and second melanomas. Conclusion: Atopic dermatitis is not a protective factor in cutaneous melanoma but a history of asthma may be.

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Keywords Asthma, Atopic dermatitis, Atopy, Hayfever, Melanoma, Risk factor
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Journal International Journal of Clinical Oncology
Hajdarbegovic, E, Atiq, N, van der Leest, R.J.T, Thio, B.H, & Nijsten, T.E.C. (2013). Atopic dermatitis is not a protective factor for melanoma but asthma may be. International Journal of Clinical Oncology, 1–4. doi:10.1007/s10147-013-0589-7