The Epidemiology of Melanoma in Wayne County: A Preliminary analysis of Racial Disparities

Research Mentor Name

Dr. Meena Moossavi

Research Mentor Email Address


Institution / Department

Department of Dermatology

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Objective: Melanoma is a cutaneous malignancy accounting for 75% of all skin cancer deaths but can be cured if discovered early. Although individuals of lighter skin tones are more likely to develop melanoma, studies have found that African American populations have a worse prognosis than their Caucasian counterparts. Many epidemiological analyses have been done assessing the general characteristics of melanoma nationally and the racial disparities surrounding this malignancy, but a specific study outlining the regional characteristics of Wayne County has yet to be done.

Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database was used to populate a cohort of 3,922 patients diagnosed with melanoma from 2000-2016 in Wayne County. Statistics were generated with the SEER*Stat software.

Results: Of the 3,922 patients diagnosed with melanoma from 2000-2016 in Wayne County, 2266 (58.6%) were male and 1656 (42.2%) were female. The racial distribution consisted of 3,771 (96%) white, 102 (2.6%) black and 39 (1.25%) classified as other or unknown. The stage of diagnosis for the entire cohort was reported as 3252 (82.9%) localized, 386 (9.8%) regional and 191 (4.9%). When stratified by race, black patients had a higher rate of regional and distant tumors (21.5% and 22.5% respectively) than white patients (9.6% and 4.5% respectively). A chi squared analysis on this variable outlined a statistically significant difference in stage of diagnosis between white and black patients (X2 = 102.841, p< 0.00001). Additionally, a t-test outlined a statistically significant difference in survival months between white and black patients (p

Conclusion: Despite higher incidence of melanoma among Caucasians in Wayne County, prognosis for Black patients is worse as indicated by stage of diagnosis and survival months. Standardized protocols and local programs need to be in place to improve health literacy and education among these patients to identify melanoma earlier and improve overall outcomes.


Medicine and Health Sciences

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