Prognosis Poor 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.
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.
"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."