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Screening for melanoma

Collins, Mary-Katharine M.a; Secrest, Aaron M.b; Ferris, Laura K.a

doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000104
Review Articles

Although melanoma is a deadly cancer that is rising in incidence, the USA does not have uniform guidelines for melanoma screening. Screening for melanoma requires no specialized equipment and has little associated morbidity. However, screening has the greatest impact when performed among patients with the highest risk for melanoma incidence and mortality. Screening lower-risk patients may result in prohibitively high costs, unnecessary biopsies of benign lesions, and decreased access to a dermatologic specialist for patients who are actually at a higher risk. We advocate targeting melanoma screening efforts toward those patients at high risk of developing and dying from melanoma, as well as toward those at-risk patients who are least likely to detect their own melanoma.

aDepartment of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

bDepartment of Dermatology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Correspondence to Laura K. Ferris, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh, 3601 Fifth Ave, 5th Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA Tel: +1 412 647 4200; fax: +1 412 847 8246; e-mail:

Received July 12, 2013

Accepted May 23, 2014

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins