Incidence of cutaneous melanoma among non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks: An analysis of California Cancer Registry Data, 1988-93

Rosemary D Cress, Elizabeth A. Holly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

205 Scopus citations


Cutaneous malignant melanoma occurs less frequently among non-White populations than among Whites. As a result, little is known about the incidence and epidemiology of melanoma among other race/ethnicity groups. Data from the California Cancer Registry (United States) among 879 Hispanic, 126 Asian, and 85 Black men and women diagnosed with melanoma in 1988-93 were analyzed and compared with data for 17,765 non-Hispanic White cases. Average, annual, age-adjusted incidence rates per 100,000 population were 17.2 for men (M) and 11.3 for women (W) for non-Hispanic Whites; 2.8 (M), 3.0 (W) for Hispanics; 0.9 (M), 0.8 (W) for Asians; and 1.0 (M), 0.7 (W) for non-Hispanic Blacks. Among men, melanoma occurred on the lower extremity for 20 percent of Hispanics, 36 percent of Asians, and 50 percent of Blacks compared with nine percent of non-Hispanic Whites, with similar but less pronounced differences in site distribution by race/ethnicity for women. Among men, melanoma was diagnosed after it had metastasized to a remote site for 15 percent of Hispanics, 13 percent of Asians, and 12 percent of Blacks, compared with six percent of non-Hispanic Whites. Among women, seven percent of Hispanics, 21 percent of Asians, and 19 percent of Blacks were diagnosed with late-stage melanoma compared with four percent of non-Hispanic Whites. Although histologic type was not specified for nearly half of the cases, Hispanic, Asian, and Black patients were more likely than non-Hispanic White patients to have been diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma. Melanoma among Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks differs in incidence, site distribution, stage at diagnosis, and histologic type from melanoma among non-Hispanic Whites, and identification of risk factors for melanoma in these race/ethnicity groups would elucidate further the role of sun and other factors in the etiology of melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-252
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997



  • incidence
  • melanoma
  • race
  • site
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology
  • Cancer Research

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