Melanoma survival by age group: Population-based disparities for adolescent and young adult patients by stage, tumor thickness, and insurance type

Katherine Y. Wojcik, Makenzie Hawkins, Amy Anderson-Mellies, Evan Hall, Ashley Wysong, Joel Milam, Ann S. Hamilton, Myles G. Cockburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Melanoma survival literature predominantly represents patients >65 years of age. Study of younger patients may reveal potential age-group-specific differences in survival outcome. Objective: Identify factors associated with differences in melanoma survival in 2 age groups, adolescents and young adults (AYAs; ages 15-39) and older adults (ages 40-64). Methods: This population-based registry study included all cases (n = 81,597) of cutaneous melanoma diagnosed at ages 15 to 64 from 2004 to 2015 in California. Age-group-specific multivariable Cox hazard regressions were used. Results: In the adjusted, age-group-specific models, AYA patients with stage IV melanoma had worse survival (hazard ratio: 20.39, 95% CI: 13.30-31.20) than was observed among older adults (hazard ratio: 10.79, 95% CI: 9.33-12.48). Thicker tumors and public insurance were also associated with worse survival for AYAs than observed in models for older adults. AYAs experienced better survival when detected at earlier stages. Limitations: Registry data do not routinely collect behavioral information or family history of melanoma. Conclusions: Survival was much worse for AYAs with stage IV melanoma than observed among older adults. To improve AYA survival, early melanoma detection is critical. Greater awareness, suspicion, and screening for AYA melanoma may disrupt delays in diagnosis and reduce the excess burden of mortality from stage IV melanoma in young patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-840
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume88
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • AYA
  • adolescent and young adult
  • disparities
  • health services
  • melanoma
  • skin cancer
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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