The risk factors for melanoma in adolescents are similar to those in adults; however, it remains unclear whether these risk factors are also associated with melanoma in children. Epidemiological studies in the literature have reported a logarithmic increase in melanoma incidence after the age of 10 years. This may, in part, reflect the acute and chronic exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation during childhood. However, it appears unlikely that the cumulative exposure to UV radiation alone could explain such a sharp increase in melanoma incidence at the beginning of adolescence. It has been suggested that circulating sex hormones, the levels of which increase during puberty, may play a role in melanoma initiation and progression in predisposed individuals through binding to specific sex steroid receptors. The association between a longer cumulative exposure to sex hormones and the risk of melanoma may be supported by the reported epidemiological association between melanoma and several other sex hormone‑related types of cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer, in which the enhanced exposure to androgens and estrogens was found to be directly associated with pubertal onset. Therefore, determining the association between pubertal onset and melanoma development may improve the current understanding of melanoma pathophysiology.

Association between melanoma and exposure to sex hormones in puberty: A possible window of susceptibility

FRANCESCA CAROPPO;GIULIA TADIOTTO CICOGNA;FRANCESCO MESSINA;MAURO ALAIBAC
2021

Abstract

The risk factors for melanoma in adolescents are similar to those in adults; however, it remains unclear whether these risk factors are also associated with melanoma in children. Epidemiological studies in the literature have reported a logarithmic increase in melanoma incidence after the age of 10 years. This may, in part, reflect the acute and chronic exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation during childhood. However, it appears unlikely that the cumulative exposure to UV radiation alone could explain such a sharp increase in melanoma incidence at the beginning of adolescence. It has been suggested that circulating sex hormones, the levels of which increase during puberty, may play a role in melanoma initiation and progression in predisposed individuals through binding to specific sex steroid receptors. The association between a longer cumulative exposure to sex hormones and the risk of melanoma may be supported by the reported epidemiological association between melanoma and several other sex hormone‑related types of cancer, such as breast and prostate cancer, in which the enhanced exposure to androgens and estrogens was found to be directly associated with pubertal onset. Therefore, determining the association between pubertal onset and melanoma development may improve the current understanding of melanoma pathophysiology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3378171
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