Disparities in the Occurrence of Late Effects following Treatment among Adolescent and Young Adult Melanoma Survivors.

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Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology


california; jwci; Adolescent; Adult; Cancer Survivors; Female; Healthcare Disparities; Humans; Male; Melanoma; Skin Neoplasms; Young Adult


BACKGROUND: Melanoma is the third most common cancer in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) population; however, no studies have addressed the occurrence of adverse health conditions following melanoma treatment in these survivors.

METHODS: Data for patients ages 15 to 39 years diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma from 1996 to 2012 and surviving ≥2 years were obtained from the California Cancer Registry and linked to statewide hospitalization data. The influence of age at diagnosis, sex, race/ethnicity, neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), health insurance, and surgery on the development of adverse health conditions was evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression models.

RESULTS: Of 8,259 patients, 35.3% were male, 83.3% were non-Hispanic White, 82.4% had private health insurance, and 60.5% were considered high SES. In Cox regression models, males had an increased risk of developing adverse health conditions across all systems, including cardiac [HR, 1.73, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.47-2.03], lymphedema (HR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.37-1.77), hematologic disorders (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.03-1.33), major infection/sepsis (HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.39-1.82), and second cancers (HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.31-1.74). Patients with public/no insurance (vs. private) had a greater risk of developing all studied adverse health conditions, including subsequent cancers (HR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.94-2.82). AYA patients residing in low SES neighborhoods had similar increased risk of developing adverse health conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Of AYA melanoma survivors, males, those with public/no health insurance, and those living in low SES neighborhoods had a greater likelihood of developing adverse health conditions.

IMPACT: Strategies to improve surveillance and secondary prevention of these adverse health conditions are needed among AYA melanoma survivors, specifically for the at-risk populations identified.

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