White Patients Have Longest Survival Time in Cutaneous Melanoma

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For patients with cutaneous melanoma, whites have the longest survival time.
For patients with cutaneous melanoma, whites have the longest survival time.

(HealthDay News) -- For patients with cutaneous melanoma, whites have the longest survival time, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Sean M. Dawes, M.P.H., from the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing, and colleagues examined survival across racial groups in patients with malignant melanoma. Data were included from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database for 96,953 patients with a diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma as their primary cancer from 1992 to 2009.

The researchers found that white patients had the longest survival time, followed by Hispanic, Asian-American/Native-American/Pacific-Islander, and black patients. After stratification by race and stage, blacks had significantly lower survival for stages I and III (P < 0.05), with increased hazard ratios of 3.037 and 1.864, respectively. Compared with whites, blacks had a greater proportion of later-stage cutaneous melanoma.

RELATED: For First-line Therapy of BRAF-mutant Melanoma, PD-1 Inhibitors May Be Preferred

"Despite higher incidence of cutaneous melanoma in whites, overall survival for cutaneous melanoma in non-whites was significantly lower," the authors write. "Our results suggest that more emphasis is needed for melanoma screening and awareness in non-white populations to improve survival outcome."


  1. Dawes SM, Tsai S, Gittleman H, et al. Racial disparities in melanoma survival. JAAD. 2016 Jul 28. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2016.06.006. [Epub ahead of print.]

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