Melanoma Among Non-Hispanic Black Americans

Prev Chronic Dis. 2019 Jun 20;16:E79. doi: 10.5888/pcd16.180640.


Introduction: Few studies have examined melanoma incidence and survival rates among non-Hispanic black populations because melanoma risk is lower among this group than among non-Hispanic white populations. However, non-Hispanic black people are often diagnosed with melanoma at later stages, and the predominant histologic types of melanomas that occur in non-Hispanic black people have poorer survival rates than the most common types among non-Hispanic white people.

Methods: We used the US Cancer Statistics 2001-2015 Public Use Research Database to examine melanoma incidence and 5-year survival among non-Hispanic black US populations.

Results: From 2011 through 2015, the overall incidence of melanoma among non-Hispanic black people was 1.0 per 100,000, and incidence increased with age. Although 63.8% of melanomas in non-Hispanic black people were of unspecified histology, the most commonly diagnosed defined histologic type was acral lentiginous melanoma (16.7%). From 2001 through 2014, the relative 5-year melanoma survival rate among non-Hispanic black people was 66.2%.

Conclusion: Although incidence of melanoma is relatively rare among non-Hispanic black populations, survival rates lag behind rates for non-Hispanic white populations. Improved public education is needed about incidence of acral lentiginous melanoma among non-Hispanic black people along with increased awareness among health care providers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Black or African American*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / epidemiology*
  • Registries*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Viperidae