(HealthDay News) — Diagnoses of in situ and invasive melanoma decreased from 2019 to 2020, according to research published in JAMA Dermatology.

Researchers used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program to examine changes in melanoma incidence from 2018 through 2020.

The team identified 76,846 new cases of first primary in situ or invasive cutaneous melanoma diagnosed between January 2018 and December 2020. The researchers calculated percentage changes (PCs) in incidence rates (per 100,000 person-years) from 2018 to 2019 and from 2019 to 2020.

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Between 2018 and 2019, incidence rates of in situ melanoma were stable (PC, –0.36%), as were incidence rates of invasive melanoma (PC, –0.12%).

From 2019 to 2020, there were significant decreases in the incidence of in situ melanoma (PC, –24.52%) and invasive melanoma (PC, –19.51%). The researchers found significant decreases in the incidence of superficial spreading melanomas (PC, –19.56%), T1 melanomas (PC, –25.52%), nonulcerated melanomas (PC, –21.22%), and nonmitogenic melanomas (PC, –24.40%).

There was a significant decrease in the incidence of stage I melanoma (PC, –22.26%) from 2019 to 2020, but there were no significant decreases for stage II (–6.34%), stage III (–6.84%), or stage IV (–11.00%) melanomas.

“These findings may reflect decreased skin cancer screening examinations or access to dermatologic care during the pandemic, both of which may lead to reduced melanoma diagnoses,” the researchers wrote.

One researcher reported financial ties to industry.

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