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October 1987

Melanoma Within a Southwestern Hispanic Population

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pathology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine and the University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Albuquerque (Dr Black); the Department of Pathology, Abington (Pa) Memorial Hospital (Dr Goldhahn); and the New Mexico Tumor Registry, University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Albuquerque (Mr Wiggins).

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(10):1331-1334. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660340093027

• The New Mexico Melanoma Registry and New Mexico Tumor Registry identified 81 cases of melanoma involving the skin and mucous membranes of Hispanics. The clinical and pathologic characteristics of these tumors were compared with those observed in whites. The frequency of melanoma in Hispanics appears to be no more than a sixth of that observed in whites. Female patients were more prevalent within the Hispanic population. The median patient age at diagnosis was similar in Hispanics and whites. A much larger proportion of melanomas in Hispanics occurred on the palms, soles, and in subungual regions. Acral lentiginous melanomas were correspondingly more frequent among Hispanics, as was mucous membrane melanoma. Melanomas arising from the palms, soles, subungual regions, and mucous membranes tended to be advanced in stage, to occur in older individuals, and to metastasize. These cases explain the generally poorer prognosis for Hispanic patients compared with whites. The epidemiology of melanoma relevant to these findings is discussed.

(Arch Dermatol 1987;123:1331-1334)