Pregnancy does not affect survival in women with melanoma

Maija Kiuru, M.D., from University of California at Davis, and colleagues used California Cancer Registry data linked with statewide hospitalization and ambulatory surgery data to identify 13,108 female patients (aged 15 to 44 years) diagnosed with melanoma between 1994 and 2015, including 1,406 pregnant patients.

The researchers found that pregnancy-associated melanoma (PAM) was more frequent in Hispanic women versus non-Hispanic White women. Postpartum melanoma was associated with greater tumor thickness, but otherwise, there were no significant differences seen between pregnant and nonpregnant women. Asian, Black, and Native American women (versus non-Hispanic White women), as well as those with lower neighborhood socioeconomic status, public insurance, greater tumor thickness, and lymph node involvement, had worse survival. However, pregnancy was not associated with survival.

“Melanoma occurring postpartum was associated with greater tumor thickness, but pregnancy status did not otherwise affect survival or characteristics of melanoma,” the authors write. “The evaluation and surgical management of women with PAM should be similar to non-PAM, including during the antepartum period, to avoid delays in diagnosis.”