Malignant Melanoma: It Pays to Be a Woman

Jacob Mashiah, MD, Sarah Brenner, MD

Disclosures

Skinmed. 2003;2(3) 

In This Article

Early Detection: The Key to Effective Treatment and Control

One of the most important factors in the success of cancer treatment is early detection; hence, the patient's role is crucial. More than 60% of melanoma cases are detected by the patient and family members. On study[64] found women to be better informed about melanoma than men. The lowest ability to detect melanoma was seen in men, old people, those with a low educational level, and individuals living in the countryside. Psychological factors play an important role in the diagnosis of melanoma. Women detected melanoma themselves while family and doctors detected the lesion in men, suggesting that men may be less attentive to and more neglectful of their bodies than women. In addition, the intimacy of penile, vulvar, and vaginal lesions certainly contributes to the poor prognosis.

The survival advantage for women with malignant melanoma demands research into the reasons for this gender preference. An understanding of the contributing factors will help fight this disease.

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