Incidence, Detection of Melanoma Low in Racial, Ethnic Minorities

Number needed to screen >12,000 in racial and ethnic minority individuals compared with 373 in non-Hispanic Whites

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | July 26, 2023

WEDNESDAY, July 26, 2023 -- In a large racial and ethnic minority (REM) cohort, the incidence and detection rates of melanoma are low, according to a research letter published online July 26 in JAMA Dermatology.

Brandon Smith, from the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined melanoma incidence and presentation in a REM cohort of 60,680 self-reported Hispanic and Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian, Black, and Pacific Islander individuals, of whom 12,738 were screened for skin cancer and 47,942 were not.

The researchers found that eight melanomas were diagnosed in REM patients (three and five in screened and unscreened participants, respectively). One melanoma was detected during a screening visit (number needed to screen >12,000 in REM individuals), while three and four melanomas were identified by the patient or family and by health care professionals at visits for reasons other than skin cancer screening, respectively. For comparison, among 124,747 screened non-Hispanic White individuals, 334 melanomas were diagnosed, resulting in a number needed to screen of 373.

"These findings are congruent with updated guidelines stating the evidence is insufficient to support population-based skin cancer screening of asymptomatic adults without a history of malignant or premalignant skin lesions," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.


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