Melanoma in skin of color in Connecticut: an analysis of melanoma incidence and stage at diagnosis in non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanics

Authors


  • Conflicts of Interest: None.

Abstract

Background

The incidence of melanoma is increasing in Caucasians and in Hispanic subgroups in California and Florida. There is a paucity of information regarding melanoma incidence, stage at diagnosis, and other patient and tumor factors among minority subgroups in the northeast USA. This report examines melanoma in non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic residents of Connecticut.

Methods

Trends in age-adjusted melanoma incidence rates (1992–2007) and the corresponding annual percentage changes in rates were calculated for Connecticut residents by race and Hispanic ethnicity. The racial/ethnic variation was evaluated for a number of patient and tumor characteristics: gender, age at diagnosis, marital status, anatomic site, histology, ulceration, Breslow thickness, and stage at diagnosis. Statistical significance at the 95% level was assessed using confidence intervals (95% CIs) and Pearson's chi-squared tests.

Results

Between 1992 and 2007, melanoma incidence increased by 4.1% per year in non-Hispanic whites in Connecticut (95% CI 3.1–5.1%; < 0.05). Melanoma incidence remained relatively stable for Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks over the same period. A significantly higher proportion of advanced (regional and distant) melanomas were diagnosed in non-Hispanic blacks (19.1%) and Hispanics (17.1%) than in non-Hispanic whites (8.7%) (< 0.001).

Conclusions

A significantly higher proportion of advanced melanomas were diagnosed in non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics than in non-Hispanic whites. There is a growing need to educate patients and healthcare providers of the necessity for skin cancer surveillance regardless of the race of the patient.

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