Women diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma have a survival advantage compared to men, which has been hypothesized to be due to difference in behavior and/or biology (sex hormones). It remains controversial whether this advantage is dependent on age or stage of disease. We sought to compare melanoma-specific survival between females in pre, peri, and postmenopausal age groups to males in the same age group, adjusting for stage of disease. This is a retrospective population-based cohort study using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Patients diagnosed from 1 January 1992 through 31 January 2011 with primary invasive cutaneous melanoma were included in our cohort. Melanoma-specific survival was the main outcome studied. Of the 106,511 subjects that were included, 45% were female. Females in all age groups (18-45, 46-54, and ≥55) with localized and regional disease, were less likely to die from melanoma compared to males in the same age group. Among patients with localized and regional disease, the relative risk of death due to melanoma increased with advancing age at diagnosis; this increase was more pronounced among females than males. In contrast, we observed no female survival advantage among patients with distant disease and no effect of age on relative risk of death from melanoma. Females with localized and regional melanoma have a decreased risk of death compared to males within all age groups. Our data show no differences in survival between men and women with metastatic melanoma, indicating that the influence of sex on survival is limited to early stage disease but not confined to pre or perimenopausal age groups.
- Cutaneous melanoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research