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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 Oct;39(4 Pt 1):571-7.

Cutaneous melanoma: patient surveillance and tumor progression.

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1
Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The goal of surveillance examinations (SVE) in patients at high risk for cutaneous melanoma (CM) is to diagnose premetastatic tumors.

OBJECTIVE:

We attempted to determine whether SVE before CM diagnosis influences the histopathologic features of tumor progression.

METHODS:

A retrospective review was conducted of consecutive patients who presented with an intact primary CM during a 36 month period (1991 to 1994) in a university dermatology ambulatory setting.

RESULTS:

Thirty-nine intact CMs were diagnosed in 34 patients. Compared with 23 CMs in as many patients presenting at the first encounter, 16 CMs diagnosed in 11 patients during SVE had a smaller mean tumor diameter (P = .007) and tumor thickness (P = .002) and were more likely anatomic level I or II (P = .003) with microscopic thickness less than 0.76 mm (P = .01) and less than 0.50 mm (P = .002).

CONCLUSION:

Primary CMs are more likely to be smaller and thinner when diagnosed during SVE than at first encounter, features that are likely to have a positive impact on CM mortality.

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PMID:
9777764
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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