Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of the American College of Surgeons


Adolescent; Adult; California; Female; Humans; Incidence; Melanoma; Middle Aged; Neoplasm Staging; Pregnancy; Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic; Prognosis; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Survival Rate


BACKGROUND: Melanoma is the most common malignancy encountered during pregnancy. Conflicting data have led to ongoing confusion regarding pregnancy-associated melanoma (PAM) in the media and among the public. The objective of this study was to better characterize both the clinical presentation of PAM and its prognostic implications.

STUDY DESIGN: Female patients of reproductive age, with stage 0 to IV cutaneous melanoma, were identified from our prospectively maintained database. Clinical and histopathologic factors were analyzed with appropriate statistical methods. Univariable and then multivariable analysis were used on matched data to compare disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), and melanoma-specific survival (MSS) for stage 0-III PAMs vs non-PAMs. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were then plotted for OS and MSS and compared using the log-rank test.

RESULTS: The clinical presentation of melanoma was similar for PAM and non-PAM patients. There was no significant difference in recurrence between the 2 groups; for PAM patients, 38.5% of patients had recurrence, as compared with 36.6% of non-PAM patients (p = 0.641). For PAM patients, median follow-up was 14.6 years (range 0 to 42.6 years) and 11.1 years (0 to 48.5 years) for the non-PAM patients. No significant differences in DFS, MSS, or OS were identified on univariable or multivariable analysis for PAM vs non-PAM patients in stage 0/I/II and stage III cutaneous melanoma, respectively (p = 0.880 DFS, p = 0.219 OS, and p = 0.670 MSS).

CONCLUSIONS: We observed no difference in DFS, OS, or MSS between the 2 groups. Pregnant patients should be screened for melanoma in a similar manner to nonpregnant patients and should be counseled that their survival is not adversely affected by their pregnancy.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Women & Children






Obstetrics & Gynecology