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October 15, 1982

Malignant Melanoma in Black American and White American PopulationsA Comparative Review

JAMA. 1982;248(15):1856-1859. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330150042020

Malignant melanoma, a type of cancer that accounts for 1% to 3% of all malignant neoplasms is 20 times more frequent in the American white than black population. During a computer-aided retrospective chart review of more than 2,500 patients with melanoma being followed up at the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center, 31 blacks have been identified. Primary lesions of the foot were predominant in blacks with melanoma, and a high percentage of these were classified pathologically as acral lentiginous primary lesions. Black patients had a more advanced stage of disease at first presentation and a more deeply invasive primary lesion than their white counterparts. Five-year survival for the total black population was 23%. Blacks had a significantly worse prognosis than the white population when a comparison with the total group was made that was controlled for sex, age, site of primary lesion, stage of disease at presentation, and Clark level of primary melanoma lesion. This emphasizes the aggressive nature of this disease in the American black.

(JAMA 1982;248:1856-1859)