Melanoma in skin of color in Connecticut: an analysis of melanoma incidence and stage at diagnosis in non-Hispanic blacks, non-Hispanic whites, and Hispanics

Int J Dermatol. 2014 Apr;53(4):425-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2012.05713.x. Epub 2013 Aug 22.


Background: The incidence of melanoma is increasing in Caucasians and in Hispanic subgroups in California and Florida. There is a paucity of information regarding melanoma incidence, stage at diagnosis, and other patient and tumor factors among minority subgroups in the northeast USA. This report examines melanoma in non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic residents of Connecticut.

Methods: Trends in age-adjusted melanoma incidence rates (1992-2007) and the corresponding annual percentage changes in rates were calculated for Connecticut residents by race and Hispanic ethnicity. The racial/ethnic variation was evaluated for a number of patient and tumor characteristics: gender, age at diagnosis, marital status, anatomic site, histology, ulceration, Breslow thickness, and stage at diagnosis. Statistical significance at the 95% level was assessed using confidence intervals (95% CIs) and Pearson's chi-squared tests.

Results: Between 1992 and 2007, melanoma incidence increased by 4.1% per year in non-Hispanic whites in Connecticut (95% CI 3.1-5.1%; P<0.05). Melanoma incidence remained relatively stable for Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks over the same period. A significantly higher proportion of advanced (regional and distant) melanomas were diagnosed in non-Hispanic blacks (19.1%) and Hispanics (17.1%) than in non-Hispanic whites (8.7%) (P<0.001).

Conclusions: A significantly higher proportion of advanced melanomas were diagnosed in non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics than in non-Hispanic whites. There is a growing need to educate patients and healthcare providers of the necessity for skin cancer surveillance regardless of the race of the patient.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Connecticut / epidemiology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hip
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Melanoma / ethnology*
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Pigmentation
  • Torso
  • Young Adult