SkinCancerNet Spotlight Article
Earliest Melanomas Found by Dermatologists
Studies show importance of full-body skin exam

If your dermatologist recommends a full-body skin cancer exam, get it. Results from two separate studies show that when dermatologists routinely perform this non-invasive exam on their patients, early melanomas are found. More than half (56.3%) of the patients in one study were not even aware that they had a suspicious spot or growth.

These findings suggest that even if you do not notice anything suspicious on your skin, you may want to make an appointment with a dermatologist for a full body skin-cancer exam. The number of people diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, continues to rise. In 2008 alone, an estimated 62,480 cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the United States. With early detection and proper treatment, melanoma has a high cure rate.

If you do not have a dermatologist, you can find one in your area by visiting:

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References:
Aitken JF, Elwood M, Baade PD et al. “Clinical whole-body skin examination reduces the incidence of thick melanomas.” International Journal of Cancer July 16, 2009 [epub ahead of print].

Kantor J, Kantor DE. “Routine dermatologist-performed full-body skin examination and early melanoma detection.” Archives of Dermatology August 2009; 145: 873-6.


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Page last updated 9/29/09

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