The epidemiology, healthcare and societal cost of Melanoma in Wales: Analyses of standalone and linked national databases
Following analysis of primary and secondary NHS datasets the research team has determined:
- The incidence of melanoma in Wales is one of the highest in Europe and is steadily increasing.
- There is an equal distribution between sexes and the majority of cases occur in people over the age of 60.
- Patients with higher socioeconomic status had a greater risk of developing melanoma but had a better prognosis than those from more deprived backgrounds.
- Smoking was found to decrease the risk of developing melanoma.
- Survival from melanoma is good and recent advances in treatment will continue to improve this.
The majority of patients lived close to dermatology and oncology services, 97% of patients lived within a 25 mile radius of dermatology and 88% living within the same radius for oncology. Access to plastic surgery however was poor with only 48% of patients living within a 25 mile radius of treatment.
Melanoma care places a significant burden on the NHS with an estimate cost of over £8.8 million per year.
Impact (on cancer patients and their families):
The study has defined the rising problem of melanoma and the burden it places on both healthcare and patients.
Next Steps (for you and this research):
The next stage in research is to utilise the information learned to redevelop skin cancer services that better support patients.