Navigation Links
Women More Likely to Survive Melanoma Than Men: Study

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to surviving the skin cancer known as melanoma, nature appears to have dealt women a better hand than men, new research suggests.

By almost every measure, an analysis of four European studies found that women can expect a 30 percent better outcome than men following an early stage melanoma diagnosis. That gap, researchers say, may be rooted in basic differences in gender biology.

"The 30 percent advantage applies to survival," said study author Dr. Arjen Joosse, from the department of public health at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. "It also applies to having a metastasis [spread]: women have a 30 percent lower chance to experience a metastasis to the lymph nodes and to other organs."

Joosse and colleagues from Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and France published their findings in the April 30 online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Vernon Sondak, chair of the department of cutaneous oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., noted that just over 70,000 Americans were diagnosed with invasive melanoma in 2011, and about 43 percent of those were women. But, among the roughly 8,800 melanoma-related deaths that year, only 35 percent were female patients.

Joosse noted that the fact that women tend to fare better than men following a melanoma diagnosis is a well-established observation based on prior research, some of which was conducted by the current study team. However, the reasons behind the prognosis gap have remained elusive.

And the new research found an association between gender and melanoma survival, not a cause-and-effect.

To explore the question, Joosse and his team analyzed data concerning nearly 2,700 melanoma patients that was gleaned from four different melanoma treatment trials conducted in Europe.

All of the male and female melanoma patients had been diagnosed with either stage 1 (early) or stage 2 (localized) cancer. During and following treatment, all the patients were tracked for disease remission, relapse, spread and death.

The result: male melanoma patients were found to have worse disease characteristics at diagnosis and worse disease progression.

On the latter measure, female patients were found to have a "highly consistent and independent advantage" over men in terms of overall survival, both before and after menopause.

The sole exception was seen in cases of head and neck melanomas, where the gender differences disappeared. But the team cautioned that even this exception could ultimately be dismissed as misleading, due to key study peculiarities.

It is not that the initial tumor starts out worse in men than women, the authors stressed. Rather it is something gender-related that causes the cancer to unfold in a more deadly way in men.

In theory, estrogen level differences could play a role, although the team noted that the evidence so far suggests the hormone does not have much effect on melanoma.

Other possibilities include gender differences with respect to vitamin D metabolism, immune system function, male testosterone levels and what is known as "oxidative stress" in the body.

"However, our data could not support or disprove any of these hypotheses," Joosse acknowledged.

Sondak said that while the gender gap is probably real, it is likely a function of both biology and environment.

"I believe that the message here is that if you're a man, think like a woman," said Sondak. "And that's because most of us feel that a big part of this has to do with the fact that women are a little more likely to be paying attention to their skin and to notice something on their skin, and most importantly, to do something about it right away. And with melanoma, early detection is key," he stressed.

"So, I think in large part this is a behavioral issue, not a genetic issue," Sondak added. "However, that's not the whole issue. It is also the case that what we now call melanoma, one disease, may actually be many different diseases caused by many different things. And with that there may be genetic differences, all else being equal, in how men and women get these different diseases in the first place. This study didn't look at that. But that's another important aspect to consider."

More information

For more on melanoma, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Arjen Joosse, M.D., department of public health, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Vernon Sondak, M.D., surgeon and chair, department of cutaneous oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa; April 30, 2012, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Company Invites Women to STOP PMS - Take the 10-Minute Challenge
2. and the LifestyleMom Radio Cafe Aim to Help Women Create a Family Life and "Me Life" That They Truly Love
3. Women More Likely to Fail Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation
4. Diabetes drug ups risk for bone fractures in older women
5. Womens Heart Disease Awareness Still Lacking
6. Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga Put Spotlight on Women and HIV
7. American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report: Study Finds Racial Gaps Continue in Heart Disease Awareness, Low Knowledge of Heart Attack Warning Signs Among Women
8. Womens Dermatologic Society Marks 35th Anniversary with Release of Unprecedented Book of Wisdom and Inspiration
9. Few Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer Take Tamoxifen
10. Diane von Furstenberg Establishes The DVF Awards to Recognize Outstanding Women Leaders
11. YazTalk Warns Women of Life Threatening Side Effects
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Women More Likely to Survive Melanoma Than Men: Study 
(Date:11/27/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the conversation at the recent 2015 American Dental Association meeting in Washington D.C. revolved ... can help protect a patient’s overall health. The talk stressed the link between periodontal ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The rapid speed at ... people age, more care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive ... being overworked. The forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent of medical care ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases ... cover so that individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: Fashion ... Final Cut Pro X. With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add an ... as a minimalist title opener. Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced ... User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics ... software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... Une nouvelle approche consistant ... contre le cancer avancé.    --> ... au traitement photodynamique au Bremachlorin contre le cancer ... nouvelle approche consistant à combiner l,immunothérapie au traitement ...    Clinical Cancer Research . ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- --> --> ... potential to save costs, improve treatment quality and accelerate ... exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis is placed on ... tablet or directly at the patients, bedside. ... -->      (Photo: ) ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... November 27, 2015 Ein ... fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> Ein neuer ... Krebs.   --> Ein neuer ... Krebs.   Clinical Cancer Research ... Clinical Cancer Research vom 6. November 2015 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: