Background: Melanoma is the third most common cancer in women aged 18-39 years. Medical literature recommends that women wait for at least 2 years before becoming pregnant, yet few studies have examined pregnancy after melanoma. Our aims were to investigate the pregnancy rate after a melanoma diagnosis and the relationship between melanoma treatment and subsequent pregnancy. Methods: We studied women with a melanoma diagnosis in the Truven Health MarketScan database. Women with a melanoma diagnosis were matched 1:1 to women with no melanoma diagnosis to compare pregnancy rates between groups. For women with melanoma, Cox models were fitted for rates of pregnancy overall, pregnancy if postsurgical treatment was received, and for treatment after pregnancy. Results: The sample included 11,801 women aged 18-40 years with melanoma, who were not pregnant on the index date. These women had a higher rate of pregnancy within 2 years compared to matched controls (15.8% versus 13.6%, P < 0.001). For 0-9 months after diagnosis, women who received postsurgical treatment had a 74% lower probability of becoming pregnant (hazard ratio = 0.26, P = 0.003). Rates of treatment received after pregnancy were not significantly different (hazard ratio = 0.68, P = 0.23). Conclusions: Our study is the largest review of postmelanoma pregnancy in the United States. After a melanoma diagnosis, women had a slightly higher rate of pregnancy than matched controls, indicating that women are not delaying pregnancy. However, women who received advanced treatment for melanoma had a lower rate of pregnancy than untreated women. Women who became pregnant after a melanoma diagnosis did not have an increased risk of requiring subsequent treatment for melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Nov 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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