Assessment of Melanoma Screening Practices Produces Data-Driven, Risk-Based Guidelines

Although melanoma is usually easy to detect, it is still is responsible for the most deaths from skin cancer.
Although melanoma is usually easy to detect, it is still is responsible for the most deaths from skin cancer.

More than 50 dermatologists assessed screening practices for melanoma in a perspective study published recently in Melanoma Management that aimed to address the fact that currently no national consensus exists on skin cancer screening in the United States.  Dermatologists and primary care physicians, however, are frequently tasked with deciding when and how often to recommend total body skin examinations.

Although melanoma is usually apparent on skin and easily detected by trained health care providers via a routine total body skin examination, the disease is responsible for the most deaths from skin cancer. 

This paper proposed data-driven, risk-based guidelines that correspond with the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) screening guidelines for other disorders. These guidelines emphasize risk groups for developing melanoma and make recommendations based on risk.

This perspective also compared its proposed guidelines with other national and international organization guidelines.

Finally, this paper reviewed the US Preventive Services Task Force's 2016 Draft Recommendation Statement on screening for skin cancer. Notably, this perspective study questioned why the US Preventive Services Task Force's Statement excluded morbidity correlated with late diagnosis of the disease.

Reference

1. Johnson MM, Leachman SA, Aspinwall LG, et al. Skin cancer screening: recommendations for data-driven screening guidelines and a review of the US Preventive Services Task Force controversy. Melanoma Management. 2017;4(1):13-37. doi:10.2217/mmt-2016-0022

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