Science and Tech


Study: Black men have higher risk of death from melanoma

A study found Black men were more likely than White men to be diagnosed with melanoma after the disease had advanced to the late stages.
Sunscreen on a beach.
Posted at 12:33 PM, Jul 12, 2023

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., but health outcomes vary greatly among racial groups. 

Black men are 26% more likely to die from melanoma than their White counterparts, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The study notes that nearly 50% of the Black men in the study were first diagnosed after the disease had advanced to the late stages, making it more difficult to treat. By contrast, 21% of White men in the study were diagnosed with late-stage melanoma. 

Skin cancer is highly treatable. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the five-year survival rate for melanoma is 99% when detected early. 

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people check moles regularly and report any changes to their doctor to determine whether further testing is required. 

"Be sure to check less visible areas of your skin like the soles of your feet," the CDC says. 

The study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology noted that Black men were more likely than other racial groups to have melanoma on the soles of their feet and other areas not exposed to the sun as much. 

In addition to melanoma being treatable, health officials note that prevention methods are also effective. They include avoiding tanning beds and regularly applying sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. 

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