Scalp, neck melanomas are most lethal, study suggests

May 6, 2008

Chapel Hill, N.C. - Melanomas on the scalp and neck have a worse prognosis than occurrences on other parts of the body, according to a study reported by HealthDay News.

Chapel Hill, N.C. - Melanomas on the scalp and neck have a worse prognosis than occurrences on other parts of the body, according to a study reported by HealthDay News.

Headed by researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, the study looked at 51,704 non-Hispanic white adults who had been diagnosed with a first invasive cutaneous melanoma. The study found that while the five-year and 10-year survival odds for melanoma on the extremities, trunk, face and ears were 92.1 percent and 88.7 percent, respectively, the odds over the same time periods for scalp and neck melanoma were 83.1 percent and 76.2 percent, respectively.

Also, the mortality rate in patients with scalp and neck melanomas was 84 percent higher than in patients with melanomas on the extremities.

The study’s authors urge medical professionals to examine the scalp and neck carefully during skin examinations, and urge that organizations such as the American Academy of Dermatology take this finding into consideration in educating the public on skin self-awareness and head protection.

The study was published in the April issue of Archives of Dermatology.