Pregnancy Does Not Raise Melanoma Mortality
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The survival of pregnant women who have malignant melanoma of the skin is no less than that of comparable women who are not pregnant, European researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
As lead investigator Dr. Marko Lens told Reuters Health, “The results from this study show that status after a diagnosis of primary melanoma is not an important prognostic factor.”
Lens of St. James University Hospital, Leeds, UK and colleagues note that for many years there has been concern that the hormonal and immunological changes that accompany pregnancy may hasten progression of the disease. Study results are conflicting.
To investigate further, the researchers examined 30 years of data from a Swedish melanoma registry. They identified 185 women who were diagnosed during pregnancy and 5,348 women of the same childbearing ages who were not pregnant.
There was no significant difference in survival between the two groups. Pregnancy status at the time of diagnosis was not related to survival, and a pregnancy that occurred after diagnosis was also not a significant predictor of survival.
“Pregnant women with melanoma should be managed similarly to non-pregnant women,” Lens concluded. Also, there are no data that show terminating pregnancy improves survival in women with melanoma, he added
SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Oncology