Environmental risk factors for relapse of melanoma

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Aim: To identify lifestyle factors affecting risk of relapse. Methods: A comparison of 131 relapsed melanoma patients with 147 non-relapsers. Results: Relapsers were more likely to report financial hardship using a number of different measures including access to holidays and feeling financially insecure (odds ratio (OR) 5.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.5, 21.4)). Relapsers worked longer hours (mean 37 h per week compared with 31, p = 0.02). There was no reported difference in stress associated with recent life events. There was no effect of housing quality, employment factors or body mass index (BMI) on risk of relapse. There was a protective effect of antibiotics in the peri-operative period. Conclusion: The study provides preliminary evidence for adverse effects of chronic financial hardship, but not recent stressful events on cancer relapse. As these data were collected in a retrospective case-control study subject to recall bias, the data must now be explored in a prospective study. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Beswick, S., Affleck, P., Elliott, F., Gerry, E., Boon, A., Bale, L., … Newton-Bishop, J. A. (2008). Environmental risk factors for relapse of melanoma. European Journal of Cancer, 44(12), 1717–1725. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2008.05.007

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