The Melanoma and Breast Cancer Association: An Overview of their 'Second Primary Cancers' and the Epidemiological, Genetic and Biological correlations

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2020 Aug:152:102989. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2020.102989. Epub 2020 May 22.


This study reviews the relevant epidemiological studies associating cutaneous melanoma and breast carcinomas and provides an overview of the possible genetic, biological and bias factors that underpin this relationship. Standardised incidence ratio (SIR) for primary cutaneous melanoma after breast carcinoma ranged from 1.16 to 5.13 and ranged from 1.03 to 4.10 for primary breast carcinoma after cutaneous melanoma. Epidemiological studies highlight age, gender and use of radiotherapy and chemotherapy as potential risk factors for second primary cancers (SPCs). Mutations in BRCA2, CDKN2A, CDK4 and BAP1 may partly underlie any SPC association. The impact of socio-cultural factors and surveillance bias may be attributed to the findings of SPC partially or entirely. In conclusion, this study has highlighted the association between breast carcinoma and melanoma and identified various factors for further research and the optimised management of patients with both cancers.

Keywords: breast cancer; cutaneous melanoma; epidemiology; genetics; second primary cancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Melanoma* / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary* / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase


  • BAP1 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase