Oral Presentation Australasian Melanoma Conference 2018

Incidence of melanoma in commercial pilots in Australia (55337)

Catherine M Olsen 1 , Kyoko Miura 1 , Jean Claude Dusingize 1 , Ian Hosegood 2 , Russell Brown 2 , Rick Tinker 3 , Ken Karipidis 3 , Minas Coroneo 4 , Adele C Green 1
  1. QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston, QUEENSLAND, Australia
  2. Qantas Airways Limited, Sydney
  3. Australian Radiation Protection and Nucelar Safety Agency, Canberra
  4. University of New South Wales at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney

Occupational exposure to cosmic and/or UV radiation may increase the risk of melanoma in commercial pilots. A recent meta-analysis showed a higher incidence of melanoma in pilots globally compared with the general population; however, all available included studies were conducted in the Northern Hemisphere. There are no published epidemiological data on melanoma incidence in pilots from the Southern Hemisphere. We therefore aimed to examine if commercial pilots in Australia have a raised incidence of melanoma compared with the general population. We examined melanoma incidence in all pilots holding a Class 1 medical certificate in 2011-2016 by manually reviewing de-identified data in the medical records system of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Their age-specific incidence rates were compared with corresponding population rates obtained from the AIHW using standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) as measures of relative risk. Expected numbers were calculated by multiplying age- and calendar period-specific person-years (PYs) with corresponding rates from the entire Australian population; 95% confidence intervals were calculated assuming a Poisson distribution of the observed cases. In this national cohort of commercial pilots, 114 developed a melanoma (confirmed by histology) during 97,549 PYs (51 invasive, 61 in situ). More than 50% of the melanomas occurred on the trunk, and the predominant subtype was superficial spreading melanoma. The SIR for invasive melanoma was 1.1 (95%CI 0.89-1.4) and for melanoma in situ, 1.2 (95%CI 0.9-1.6). Our findings are fully representative of current commercial pilots in Australia and show no elevation of risk of melanoma compared with the general population.