Melanoma deadlier for young men than women

July 1, 2013

Young men with melanoma are as much as 55 percent more likely to die of the disease than women in the same age group, according to a study.

 

Young men with melanoma are as much as 55 percent more likely to die of the disease than women in the same age group, according to a study.

Researchers from Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., and colleagues analyzed the survival rates in 26,107 non-Hispanic white adolescents and young adult patients with primary invasive melanoma of the skin who were diagnosed between January 1989 and December 2009, according to the study.

Among those patients, 1,561 died from melanoma, with adolescent and young adult males accounting for 63.6 percent of melanoma-specific deaths. Males were 55 percent more likely to die from melanoma than female patients of the same age after adjusting for tumor thickness, histologic subtype, presence and extent of metastasis and anatomical location (hazard ratio, 1.55; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.39-1.73).

Males were more likely to die within each age range assessed and even those patients with thin melanomas (≤1.00 mm) were twice as likely to die as age-matched female patients (hazard ratio, 1,95; 95 percent CI, 1.57-2.42).

“Continued public health efforts are necessary to raise awareness of the outcome of melanoma in young men,” the study authors noted. “Understanding melanoma mortality in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) is critical because melanoma is the third-most common cancer in AYAs and accounts for the most years of potential life lost compared with all malignant tumors.... Few studies have addressed differences in melanoma mortality between AYA men and women.”

The study was published online June 26 in JAMA Dermatology