Research Reveals Melanoma To Be More Deadly In Black Men

Research Reveals Melanoma To Be More Deadly In Black Men

A new study suggests that Black men are 26% more likely to die from melanoma, a type of skin cancer that more commonly affects their white peers.

According to The Washington Post, researchers have long known melanoma to affect the male population in larger numbers than the female population; however, new data that focuses more keenly on race has revealed more accurate results. “I think this is significant,” said Ali Hendi, a specialist in skin cancer surgery who was not involved in the research. “This study doesn’t give us the answer as to why, but it sheds light on the numbers.”

Over 200,000 men participated in the research, and only 2.5% were Black; however, their mortality rate was significantly higher.

Among contributing factors is a late diagnosis in Black men, who are more likely to show signs of the disease in unexpected places such as fingernails and the bottoms of their feet. Black patients in the study seemed to show more immediate symptoms of melanoma in their lower extremities. According to The Washington Post, data published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reveals that 48.6% of Black men receive late diagnoses compared to 21.1% of white men. More advanced stages of the disease are significantly harder to treat. If detected earlier, the five-year survival rate for melanoma is 99%. Once the disease has begun to spread throughout the body, that number decreases by over half. Seventy-five percent of white men live five or more years past their diagnosis, while only about 50% of Black men have a similar survival rate.

This is the latest research to drive home the importance of including factors like race and socioeconomic status in studies about common infectious diseases. Experts have begun to take a closer look at these factors in cases of breast cancer, heart conditions, early onset dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.