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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1990 Jun;22(6 Pt 1):1042-8.

Screening and surveillance of patients at high risk for malignant melanoma result in detection of earlier disease.

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Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.


Screening, surveillance, and educational programs have been recommended for members of hereditary melanoma kindreds with dysplastic nevi, who are at very high risk for melanoma. For melanomas detected in a surveillance program offered to 555 such persons, the average thickness was 0.52 mm for 28 surveillance incident melanomas, 0.55 mm for 64 nonsurveillance incident melanomas, and 1.44 mm for 48 index lesions (p less than 0.001). The proportion of cases with level I or II invasion was 60.8%, 58.3%, and 36.2% respectively (p = 0.002). The nonsurveillance incident melanomas were diagnosed before entry into the surveillance program, but these patients were presumably aware of the earlier occurrence of two index melanomas in their families. These findings are consistent with a favorable effect of surveillance and education in a high-risk population and suggest that patient factors as well as physician factors may contribute to early diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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