Black Men at Higher Risk of Death from Melanoma: Study

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According to NBC News, research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology indicated that Black males had a far higher melanoma mortality rate than other races. The five-year survival rate for black men was the lowest (51.7% among 205,125 male patients diagnosed with cutaneous invasive melanoma between 2004 and 2018). When compared to other ethnic groups, white males did the best in terms of survival (75.1%). 

Melanoma, the worst form of skin cancer, begins in cells called melanocytes. varied races and genders have been proven to have varied post-diagnosis survival rates for cutaneous melanoma; however, until recently, the specific impact of race among men was unknown. Why Black males have a higher death risk from melanoma is unknown. According to the report, Black males, in particular, are less likely than women to seek medical treatment.

As a result, cancer is frequently misdiagnosed for longer than necessary, and by the time therapy begins, the illness may have advanced. Ashley Wysong, the chair of the dermatology department at UNMC and a co-author on the article, believes that other social, genetic, tumor-specific, and biological factors may be at work, such as changes in hormone production and immune responses to melanoma tumors. 

People of race are more likely to have their melanoma misdiagnosed, thereby delaying treatment. African Americans have specific obstacles in identifying and treating melanoma, such as a lack of knowledge of the disease and a proclivity to misread symptoms. 

Racial discrimination in the healthcare system has historically resulted in racial disparities by putting Black patients at a disadvantage. This year, a study published in science discovered indications of racial bias in healthcare algorithms. As a result of this prejudice, Black patients were wrongly labeled as healthier than equally ill White patients, resulting in greater healthcare costs. 

Aside from the inequities observed in Black males, the JAAD study discovered that Black women were disproportionately affected by melanoma. The majority of malignancies in black women were discovered in the lower extremities, particularly the legs, ankles, and feet. 

Ashley Wysong, who is worried about these tendencies, advises anybody who gets a new skin lesion that bleeds or does not heal rapidly to see a dermatologist right once. Getting medical assistance as soon as symptoms appear boosts the patient’s chances of a favourable result. 

According to Wysong, further study is needed to identify the core reason of the dramatic variations in life expectancy between ethnic groups. Understanding these characteristics better will help us decrease inequities and increase survival rates for all people diagnosed with melanoma. 

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