Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Arch Dermatol. 1999 Mar;135(3):269-74.

Melanoma and tumor thickness: challenges of early diagnosis.

Author information

  • 1Dermatology Services, Hôpital Sainte Marguerite, Marseille, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test the basic assumption of campaigns for early diagnosis of melanoma, ie, prognosis is correlated with the delay in the diagnosis.

DESIGN:

Prospective study of the correlation between delays to diagnosis, assessed using a questionnaire, and the Breslow thickness as a prognosis marker.

SETTING:

Dermatology departments in France.

PATIENTS:

Five hundred ninety consecutive patients, referred within 12 weeks after resection of cutaneous melanoma.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Assessment of 5 successive time intervals from the first time the patients realized that they had a lesion until the resection of the melanoma, and results of the correlation between each time interval and tumor thickness (Breslow).

RESULTS:

There is a positive but weak correlation between tumor thickness and the delay to identify a lesion as suspicious (r = 0.17; P = .009). However, this delay tends to be short for the thickest tumors. There is a negative correlation between tumor thickness and the delay to seek medical attention (r = -0.20; P<.001). This delay was shorter for nodular melanoma. No correlation is found between melanoma thickness and physicians' delays.

CONCLUSIONS:

Poor prognosis can be accounted for by aggressive rapidly growing tumors rather than by delays. In well-informed populations, campaigns for early diagnosis of melanoma may thus no longer have a major impact on prognosis, unless they are focused on subgroups less accessible to information and medical care.

PMID:
10086447
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk