The analysis of 51,704 melanoma cases in the U.S. confirms that survival rates differ depending on where skin cancer first appears. Those with scalp or neck melanomas die at a rate 1.84 times higher than those with melanomas on the extremities, after controlling for the possible influences of age, gender, tumor thickness and ulceration.
“Scalp and neck melanomas patients have a higher rate of death than patients with melanoma anywhere else on the body,” said Nancy Thomas, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of dermatology in the UNC School of Medicine, a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the study’s senior author. Anne Lachiewicz, a medical student in the UNC School of Medicine, is the lead author of the study.
Thomas recommends that physicians pay special attention to the scalp when examining patients for signs of skin cancer. “Only six percent of melanoma patients present with the disease on the scalp or neck, but those patients account for 10 percent of melanoma deaths. That’s why we need to take extra time to look at the scalp during full-skin examinations,” she said.
The results appear in the April issue of the journal Archives of Dermatology.
The study helps address a controversy among cancer researchers: whether scalp and neck skin cancer is more lethal primarily because it’s diagnosed later than other melanomas. “That was the thinking of a lot of people in the field,” Thomas said. But the analysis indicates that the presence of the melanoma on the scalp or neck, in itself, is an indicator of a poorer prognosis.
“We think there’s something different about scalp and neck melanomas,” Thomas said. “This gives us directions for research to look at tumor cell types in those areas at the molecular level and to see if there are differences. I’m interested in identifying the mutations that drive malignancy.”
Thomas, Lachiewicz and their colleagues analyzed data from 13 National Cancer Institute Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program registries in nine states. Each case represented the first invasive melanoma diagnosed among non-Hispanic white adults between 1992 and 2003.
Patients with scalp or neck melanomas were older (59 years) than patients with other melanomas (55 years), and more likely to be male (74 percent versus 54 percent, respectively). In addition, scalp and neck melanomas were thicker (0.8 millimeters) than melanomas at other sites (0.6 millimeters) and more likely to be ulcerated. Lymph node involvement was also more common in patients with scalp-neck melanomas.
Melanomas on the extremities or on the face or ears had the best prognosis. The five-year melanoma-specific survival rate for patients with scalp or neck melanomas was 83 percent, compared with 92 percent for patients with melanomas at other sites. The ten-year survival rate was 76 percent for scalp or neck melanomas and 89 percent for other melanomas.
Patric Lane | EurekAlert!
Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin
Researchers from Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg present a new method which can double the energy of a proton beam produced by laser-based particle accelerators. The breakthrough could lead to more compact, cheaper equipment that could be useful for many applications, including proton therapy.
Proton therapy involves firing a beam of accelerated protons at cancerous tumours, killing them through irradiation. But the equipment needed is so large and...
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
27.05.2019 | Information Technology
27.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
27.05.2019 | Life Sciences