Study shows melanoma risk is higher in women in pregnancy
A study carried out by a group of researchers in Cleveland Clinic’s Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute found something quite important.. the risk for melanoma in women that are younger than 50 and are or were recently pregnant is much higher and such melanoma may be proved much more dangerous. The researchers took into consideration the electronic medical records about 462 women that suffered from melanoma and were 49 years old or younger. The findings are really interesting. The women that suffered from malignant melanoma and were either pregnant or within 1 year after the end of pregnancy, had 510% higher rates of dying, 690% higher rates of metastasis and 920% increased rates of recurrence comparing to a control group (with women that were not pregnant).
The lead author of the study, Brian Gastman MD (director of Melanoma Surgery at Cleveland Clinic) highlights how important these findings are, implying that women should have regular skin checks when younger than 50. And if they are diagnosed with melanoma during pregancy or up to 1 year after pregnancy, they should have regular follow up for reappearance of melanoma.
Dr. Gastman stated: “The two groups that were compared were of similar age, similar histology, similar race and of course all were female. It was only the pregnancy that we found a distinctly high-risk population.” and adds“We did use some basic science studies to conjecture why this is happening. Women in and after pregnancy not only go through major hormonal changes, but also changes in their immune system”.