July 31, 2012
1 min read

Melanomas among blacks occurred primarily on lower limbs, hips

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The most frequent site of malignant melanomas on black patients was the lower limb and hip, according to study results.

Researchers evaluated 1,439 black patients (median age, 61 years; 58.9% women) who were diagnosed with malignant melanoma from 1998 to 2007. The cross-sectional study included 46 population-based cancer registries that covered 79.5% of the U.S. population.

The lower limb and hip (58.9%) and trunk (16.5%) accounted for the most frequent melanoma sites. Diagnosis of the trunk was presented at the youngest median age for men (56 years) and women (48 years). Patients younger than 44 years made up a greater proportion of diagnoses of the head, face or neck (P<.05) and trunk (P<.05) for women compared with men (38.7% vs. 20.3%, head, face or neck; 46.6% vs. 31.7%, trunk). The proportion of diagnoses found on the head, face, neck and trunk in black men (33.6%) and women (24.9%) indicated their possible greater inherent protection against UV radiation exposure. To the contrary, however, women presented with diagnoses of the head, face or neck 7 years earlier than their overall median age at diagnosis.

Since registries consolidated the foot with the lower limb and hip, researchers said they were limited in comparing earlier findings of increased melanoma occurrence on the feet of blacks. Twenty-six percent of overall diagnoses of the lower limb and hip, however, presented on the foot.

“The ambiguity of the anatomic site designations in the current cancer registry data collection prevented us from drawing a direct comparison between our findings and those earlier works,” the researchers concluded. “Nonetheless, our results provide a national baseline for future studies examining the anatomic distribution of melanoma … as it relates to blacks.”