Racial and ethnic minorities in lower income brackets are associated with late-stage diagnosis of non-ocular melanoma

Priyashma Joshi, Ifeanyichukwu Ogobuiro, Alexandra Hernandez, Gabriel De La Cruz Ku, Daniel George Noe, Lynn Feun, Zhao Jun Liu, Mecker G. Möller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Despite advances in oncologic care, racial and socio-economic outcome disparities persist in non-ocular melanoma patients. However, the unmet need is understanding the population at risk for late tumor stage at diagnosis. We sought to analyze the groups with an increased risk of unfavorable tumor stage at diagnosis. Methods: Patients with non-ocular melanoma were reviewed using the 2000–2019 SEER Research Data (SEER*Stat) and grouped into early tumor stage at diagnosis (stage I-IIC) and late (stage III-IVC). Multivariable logistic and Cox regression examined the association of demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical factors with late-stage diagnosis and overall survival, respectively. Kaplan-Meier estimates were calculated with racial and county-level household income stratification to evaluate overall survival differences. Results: Of 147,606 patients diagnosed with non-ocular melanoma, 38,695 cases were identified based on inclusion and exclusion criteria and separated into those with early-stage diagnosis (median 63 years) and those with late-stage (median 62 years). Male gender, Black race, Asian or Pacific Islander race, and Hispanic ethnicity were significantly associated with late-stage tumor diagnosis (p < 0.001). Receipt of surgery and a median county-level household income >$75,000 were protective for late-stage tumor diagnosis (p < 0.001). Additionally, male gender, Black, Asian or Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native races, metastasis, and late-stage diagnosis were associated with factors significantly associated with decreased overall survival (p-value <0.001). Receipt of surgery and a median household income of $50,000-$74,999 and >$75,000 were factors associated with increased overall survival (p < 0.001). The median overall survival was 89 months, but Black patients (58 months) and <$50,000 income households (75 months) had significantly worse survival (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Hispanic ethnicity, Black and Asian or Pacific Islander race, and low-income households were associated with late-stage non-ocular melanoma at diagnosis. Black, Asian or Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaskan Native races and lower-income households were associated with worse overall survival. Identifying addressable causal factors that link this at-risk population to poor cancer prognosis is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102489
JournalCancer Epidemiology
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Disparities
  • Ethnic
  • Low-income
  • Melanoma


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