Socioeconomic Differences Can Predict Outcomes For Most Melanoma Patients

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Melanoma

Althoughsocioeconomic status can strongly predict outcomes for people with melanoma, itdoes not explain poor overall survival among blacks with skin cancer, accordingto a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Reuters reports.

The study looked at 34,049 patients diagnosed with melanoma between 1993 and2003. According to the study, people with higher socioeconomic status were morelikely than those with lower socioeconomic status to be diagnosed with melanomaat an early stage, have surgery to remove tumors and survive longer. Those withthe highest socioeconomic status were 37% less likely to die, even afteraccounting for differences in age, gender, cancer stage and other factors.

African-Americans were 60% more likely than non-Hispanic whites to die frommelanoma, while there were no differences in survival among Asians, Hispanicsand non-Hispanic whites, the study found. Study researcher Jason Zell of the University of California-Irvine said that while melanoma is not very commonamong blacks, the study showed that "survival among African-Americanmelanoma patients is poor" and cannot be explained by differences incancer stage, treatment or socioeconomic factors (Rauscher, Reuters,1/21).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly HealthDisparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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