(HealthDay News) — Patterns of melanoma presentation, disease severity, and mortality vary by race, according to a research letter published online July 11 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Jennifer M. Fernandez, M.D., from University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and colleagues used the National Cancer Database to identify 205,125 cases of primary cutaneous invasive melanoma diagnosed between 2004 and 2018.
The researchers found that primary site differed significantly by race: The most common primary site was the trunk for American Indian/Alaska Native (38.8 percent) and White (35.4 percent) individuals, while the most common primary site was the lower extremity for Black (50.7 percent), Asian (40.5 percent), and Hispanic (26.3 percent) individuals. In Black individuals, the most common histologic subtype was acral lentiginous melanoma versus superficial spreading melanoma in all other groups. Black patients most commonly had advanced disease (stage III or IV; 48.6 percent) versus White (21.1 percent) patients. White patients had the highest five-year overall survival rates at 75.1 percent compared with 51.7 percent for Black patients.
“Black race is consistently an independent predictor of increased mortality risk in melanoma, and this remained the case in our study which only included males, even after adjusting for stage at diagnosis and insurance status,” the authors write.