A new study finds that veterans are more likely to have advanced melanoma, where the melanoma spreads to other parts of the body, compared to the general population. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and the fourth most common cancer among veterans. 

This research may be timely for Armed Forces Day (Saturday, May 21) coverage.  

Published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD)the peer-reviewed study of more than 15,000 veterans finds: 

  • Older veterans face increased rates of melanoma. The majority of veterans with melanoma are 65 and older, male, non-Hispanic white, and live in rural areas. 
  • Overall, veterans are older at their diagnosis compared to the general population, and their melanoma is often more advanced due to a later diagnosis.  

I’m happy to provide a copy of the JAAD article, connect you with the study authors, and/or coordinate an interview with a veteran recently diagnosed with Stage III melanoma.  

Rebecca I. Hartman, MD, MPH, one of the authors of the study is an Associate Chief of Dermatology, VA Boston Healthcare System and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.