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Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Apr;81(4):500-7.

Cutaneous malignant melanoma.

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Department of Dermatology, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Skin cancer has become the most common neoplasm in the United States. With early diagnosis and appropriate management, most skin cancers have an overall 5-year survival rate of 95%. Cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM), however, has a significantly higher morbidity and mortality, resulting in 65% of all skin cancer deaths. Although the long-term survival rate for patients with metastatic melanoma is only 5%, early detection of CMM carries an excellent prognosis, with surgical excision often being curative. Primary care physicians can play a critical role in reducing morbidity and mortality from CMM by recognizing patients at risk, encouraging the adoption of risk-reducing behaviors, and becoming adept at identifying suspicious lesions.

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