A new study released Tuesday (July 11) in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that men with melanoma, a type of skin cancer, are more likely to die than women with the disease. Black men are the most likely to die from the disease.
Researchers found that White men with cancer had a survival rate of 75%, while Black men had a survival rate of only 52%. The male survival numbers for American Indians and Alaska Natives were 69 percent, for Asians it was 68 percent, and for Hispanics it was 66 percent.
The study also found that the site of melanoma is different for people of different races and ethnicities. Men who are White, American Indian, or Alaska Native are more likely to get melanoma on the trunk of their upper bodies. But Black, Asian, and Hispanic guys tend to get melanoma in places that don’t get sun, like their lower extremities.
At the same time, most Black, Hispanic, and Asian guys don’t find out they have the disease until it’s too late.
Melanoma is often found when the patient or someone close to them notices a strange spot on the body. Dr. Ashley Wysong, a physician and co-author of the study, said that the spots are hard to see on darker skin and in places that don’t get much sun.
Melanoma is very treatable if caught early, but Wysong said that guys are less likely to go to the doctor than women.
“However, even when later stages at diagnosis are taken into account, men still have lower overall survival rates than women with melanoma. This makes us think that there are some unmeasured social, genetic, tumor-specific, and possibly biological factors at play, such as hormones and how the immune system reacts to melanoma tumors,” she said.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that more than 9,000 people die each year from” melanoma, which can spread to other parts of the body.
The new study looked at data from the National Cancer Database about more than 200,000 people who were diagnosed with melanoma from 2004 to 2018.