Physicians promote melanoma screening strategies for people at high-risk

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According to a recent clinical review published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, physicians from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, suggest that melanoma screening strategies may be more feasible by focusing on high-risk populations and using newer diagnostic tools, and should include efforts to educate the general population about the importance of skin cancer screening.

Their recommendations are based on two studies. The first of which was an Australian melanoma screening study that supports more extensive high-risk population-based screening strategies.

In that study, researchers gave 311 people who had an increased risk of developing melanoma extensive skin screenings every 6 months. The researchers detected 75 melanomas over a mean follow-up of 3.5 years without increasing the number of unnecessary biopsies. The second study conducted in Germany initiated a comprehensive skin screening program.

The researchers in that study observed 48% reduction in melanoma-related deaths after its initiation. The Moffitt physicians also note that physicians must be trained to perform skin examinations and be able to recognize the early stages of melanoma.

Patients at high-risk for developing the disease should be examined by experienced dermatologists.

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Melanoma screening strategies may be more feasible by focusing on high-risk populations.
The U.S. Surgeon General recently issued a call to action to prevent skin cancer. However, screening for melanoma currently is not supported by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force skin cancer screening guidelines. The U.S.
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