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Black men have an increased risk of dying from melanoma: study

July 12, 2023 – A brand new study shows that black men usually tend to die from melanoma than men of other races.

Previous research has found that men are less more likely to survive melanoma than women, and other people of color are also less more likely to survive the disease than white people. In this latest study, the upper risk of death remained even when researchers took into consideration that black men are less more likely to have private insurance and the cancer is at a more advanced stage when diagnosed.

“This suggests that lower private insurance rates and higher stages of diagnosis cannot fully explain the increased risk of death among black men with melanoma,” they wrote. “Education is a critical modifiable target for improving melanoma survival.”

The Results were published on Tuesday in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatologyand the authors wrote that they focused specifically on the role of race in men with melanoma. The study included data from 205,125 men diagnosed with cutaneous invasive melanoma between 2004 and 2018, of whom 97.6% were white, 1.5% Hispanic, 0.5% black, 0.3% Asian, and 0.1% American Indian or Alaska Native.

The evaluation found that every one black men usually tend to die from the disease than white men. Among white men, 75% survived a minimum of 5 years after diagnosis, while the 5-year survival rate was 69% for American Indians and Alaska Natives, 67% for Asian men, 66% for Hispanic men, and 52% for black men.

“We know that men may seek medical care less frequently than women, so they may be diagnosed with melanoma at a later stage,” said co-author and dermatology professor on the University of Nebraska, Dr. Ashley Wysong, in a opinion“But even when you take later stages into account at diagnosis, men with melanoma still have worse survival rates than women. Therefore, we suspect that some tumor-specific and possibly biological factors play a role, such as hormones and the way the body responds to melanoma tumors.”

Melanoma is a cancer that starts within the cells that give the skin its brownish color. Darkly pigmented skin is related to a lower risk of developing the disease, based on the American Cancer Society. According to the Cancer Society, roughly 97,000 individuals are diagnosed with melanoma every year. The lifetime risk of developing the disease is 1 in 38 for whites, 1 in 167 for Hispanics and 1 in 1,000 for blacks.

The latest study showed that probably the most common site of melanoma varied depending on the person's race. The commonest site in black, Hispanic and Asian men was the lower extremity, which incorporates the body parts from the hips to the toes. The commonest site of the cancer in white and American Indian or Alaskan Native men was the trunk, which incorporates the chest, abdomen, pelvis and back.

“Patients with darker skin tones are more likely to get melanomas in areas that are not exposed to the sun, while patients with lighter skin tones are more likely to get melanomas in areas that are exposed to the sun,” Wysong said, noting that location can play a job in late-stage diagnoses. “Many patients have their spots examined by dermatologists because someone else alerted them to a spot. Melanomas in areas that are not exposed to the sun can be more difficult for patients and their families to detect, which can lead to a delayed diagnosis.”

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a monthly skin self-examination Use a full-length mirror. People with dark skin should especially search for dark spots that grow, bleed, or change; sores that don't heal or that heal and are available back; or a dark line under or around a fingernail or toenail.