Cutaneous malignant melanoma: A study of skin cancer in the United States from 1973–1997

Cynthia Chioma McOliver, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is the cancer of the melanocytes, the cells that produce the pigment melanin, and is an aggressive skin cancer that is most prevalent in the white population. Although most cases of malignant melanoma are white, black and other non-white populations also develop this disease. However, the etiologic factors involved in the development of melanoma in these lower-risk populations are not well known. Generally, survival rates of malignant melanoma have been found to be lower in blacks than for whites with similar stage of disease at diagnosis. This study presents an analysis of the differences in survival between black and white cases with malignant melanoma of the skin as the only or first primary cancer, found in the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) cancer registry from 1973 to 1997. A total of 54,193 cases of CMM were diagnosed in black and white patients between 1973 and 1997. Black patients tended to be older, with a mean age of 64.46 years, compared to 53.14 years for white patients. Eighty-nine percent of patients were diagnosed with CMM as the only cancer. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject Area

Public health|Oncology

Recommended Citation

McOliver, Cynthia Chioma, "Cutaneous malignant melanoma: A study of skin cancer in the United States from 1973–1997" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1406492.