Prognosis Poor for Women With Pregnancy-Associated Melanoma

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Poor Prognosis for Women With Pregnancy-Associated Melanoma
Poor Prognosis for Women With Pregnancy-Associated Melanoma

(HealthDay News) -- For women aged younger than 50 years, melanoma prognosis is worse for those aged 40 to 49 years and for those diagnosed with a pregnancy-associated melanoma, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Alejandra Tellez, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study to examine histopathology, staging, risk factors, and outcomes of cutaneous melanoma in women aged up to 49 years with biopsy-proven melanoma.

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The researchers identified 462 patients with cutaneous melanoma (mean age, 34.7 years). Women aged 19 years or younger less frequently had invasive melanoma (P < 0.0008). Women aged 40 to 49 years had higher positive sentinel node status (P < 0.008), recurrence rates, metastatic disease (P < 0.001), and death rates (P < 0.008). Significantly worse prognosis was seen for the 41 women with a pregnancy-associated melanoma compared with control non-pregnant patients, with nine-, seven-, and five-fold increases in recurrence (P < 0.001), metastasis (P = 0.03), and mortality (P = 0.06), respectively.

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"The increasing incidence of melanoma for women younger than 50 years suggests that regular skin checks and self-examinations are warranted," the authors write. "In addition, in women given the diagnosis of melanoma during or within one year after childbirth, regular follow-up and monitoring for recurrence are recommended."

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