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J Cutan Pathol. 2012 Jan;39(1):17-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0560.2011.01848.x.

The melanoma 'epidemic': lessons from prostate cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510-3206, USA.


The rise in malignant melanoma incidence has been termed "epidemic". Closer scrutiny of epidemiologic data suggests overdiagnosis as the true cause of the dramatic rise in melanoma incidence. In epidemiologic terms, "overdiagnosis" describes lesions that are histologically malignant but biologically benign. Overdiagnosis is not unique to melanoma screening but is prevalent in screening for cancers of other organs, including the thyroid and prostate glands.

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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