White men are more likely to get melanoma, according to the CDC, the study found that Black people have a 26% higher risk of death from melanoma than the white population.

The study, published on July 11, 2023 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found the following trends:

  • Among Black men with melanoma, 48.6 percent are diagnosed at late stages of the disease, when it is harder to treat, compared with 21.1 percent among White men. Late-stage diagnoses occur in 39.6 percent of Hispanic men, in 37.6 percent of Asian men and in 29.1 percent of Native American men. If detected early, the five-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent. But a late diagnosis changes those odds dramatically. Once melanoma has spread to distant parts of the body, the five-year relative survival rate is about 32 percent.
  • The location of melanomas on the body varied starkly by race. The data showed that 50.7 percent of Black men with melanoma have it on their lower extremities. Fewer than 10 percent of White men with the disease had it on their lower bodies. Among White men, most cases were on the trunk (35.5 percent) or head and neck (25.7 percent). By comparison, only 12.6 percent of cases in Black men were on the trunk and 9.8 percent on the head.
  • Melanoma in Black men is often found in areas not typically exposed to the sun, such as the soles of the feet, toes, toenails, fingers, fingernail beds and palms.
  • More than 75 percent of White men live five years or more after a melanoma diagnosis. Only 51.7 percent of Black men do.

Although it is not clear what factors contribute to an increased mortality risk for Black men with melanoma, the study found that Black men were less likely to have private insurance, and men more broadly were less likely to seek medical care than women, which can result in men  being diagnosed at a later stage.

Melanoma patients with darker skin often mistake their cancer for other skin conditions, which can also delay care and treatment. If you have a mole or other skin lesion that is causing you concern, schedule an appointment online at Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center or by calling 330-425-7600.