Cutaneous, ocular and visceral melanoma in African Americans and Caucasians

Tiffany Tsai, Catherine T Vu, Donald E. Henson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The incidence and age-specific rates of cutaneous, ocular and visceral melanoma were compared in blacks, whites and other ethnic groups using data obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute for the years 1973-2001. As the SEER Program is now more mature and includes a larger proportion of minority populations, we thought it important to revisit these observations in more detail. Overall, the rate of cutaneous melanoma was higher in white males but, prior to 50 years of age, the rate was higher in white females. Compared with white males, white females and black males and females had proportionally higher rates of melanoma on the lower extremities. Cutaneous and ocular melanomas were, as expected, more common in whites than in blacks or in other groups. The age-specific rates for ocular and cutaneous melanoma were similar for blacks and other ethnic groups, but differed from those of whites. Patients with a previous diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma had a significantly higher probability of developing ocular melanoma than the general population. Age-specific rates were similar in all three groups for visceral melanoma. In all three racial/ ethnic groups, age-specific rate patterns were different between cutaneous, ocular and visceral melanoma, suggesting a different pathogenesis. Visceral melanoma develops later in life, after the age of 60 years, compared with cutaneous or ocular melanomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-217
Number of pages5
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • African American
  • Age-specific rates
  • Caucasian
  • Incidence
  • Melanoma
  • Ocular
  • Skin
  • Viscera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Dermatology


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