Nav: Home

Inexpensive equipment and training can improve melanoma detection and reduce biopsies

July 01, 2019

CHICAGO--July 1, 2019-- Primary care physicians trained in dermatoscopy can improve odds for early detection of melanoma while reducing the need for invasive biopsies, according to a study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Researchers say non-dermatologist physicians can make earlier and more accurate diagnoses of melanomas using a dermatoscope. This would be particularly beneficial for patients who lack access to dermatologists, the authors noted, because primary care physicians typically biopsy suspicious spots or refer patients to a specialist.

"The training is available in different formats and physicians can hone their skills quickly with regular practice," says Natalia Jaimes, MD, a dermatologist and lead author on this study. "The best way to improve proficiency is by incorporating thorough skin exams in patients' annual checkups."

Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the U.S. and kills more than 9,000 people each year. Dr. Jaimes says that number could be significantly lowered with more widespread early detection in communities without access to specialized care.

"If detect early, Melanoma is a highly treatable disease, yet so many people die from it," she says. "The good news is the solution is relatively inexpensive."

Dermatoscopes are inexpensive instruments, costing as little as $500, that provide ×10 magni?cation and illuminate the skin in a manner that minimizes light re?ection off the skin surface. Researchers say diagnosis of specific melanomas using a dermatoscope is four times more accurate than when done with an unaided eye.

Adequate training on dermatoscopy is available in a one- or two-day course but can be as minimal as a 12-hour online program. Physicians who cannot accurately differentiate benign nevi from a malignant melanoma must rely on biopsies to make the diagnosis. Having more physicians trained in dermatoscopy would reduce the costs associated with those medical procedures as well as patient discomfort.

Dr. Jaimes says physicians trained in dermatoscopy can improve odds for early detection of melanoma, which is crucial for patients' prognoses and survival rates. Most melanomas discovered in Stage 0 or Stage 1 can be easily removed with no need for further treatment. The survival rate at this stage is around 98%.
-end-
About The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) is the official scientific publication of the American Osteopathic Association. Edited by Robert Orenstein, DO, it is the premier scholarly peer-reviewed publication of the osteopathic medical profession. The JAOA's mission is to advance medicine through the publication of peer-reviewed osteopathic research.

Media Contact

Jeff Brennan, Media Relations Manager
312-202-8161 | jbrennan@osteopathic.org

American Osteopathic Association

Related Melanoma Articles:

Blood test for deadly eye melanoma
A simple blood test could soon become the latest monitoring tool for the early detection of melanoma in the eye.
Analysis of melanoma in US by age groups
This study used registry data to determine annual rates of melanoma in pediatric, adolescent, young adult and adult age groups, and the findings suggest an apparent decrease among adolescent and young adults between 2006 and 2015 but increases in older adults.
Vitamin D dials down the aggression in melanoma cells
Vitamin D influences the behaviour of melanoma cells in the lab by making them less aggressive, Cancer Research UK scientists have found.
B cells linked to immunotherapy for melanoma
Immunotherapy uses our body's own immune system to fight cancer.
Five things to know about melanoma
'Five things to know about ... melanoma' in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) provides a brief overview of this malignant skin cancer for physicians and patients.
Describing aspects of melanoma progression
Three related articles and an editorial focus on various aspects of melanoma progression.
Is your melanoma hot enough for immunotherapy?
University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented at AACR 2019 shows that tumors with mutations in genes leading to over-activation of the NF-kB signaling pathway were more than three times as likely to respond to anti-PD1 immunotherapy compared with tumors in which these changes were absent.
BU researchers discover therapeutic target of melanoma
Researchers have identified a biomarker and a possible new therapy for melanoma.
Seawater bacteria provides leads to fight melanoma
Malignant melanoma can be a particularly dangerous form of cancer, and more therapeutic options are needed.
New drug combination could be more effective against melanoma
A new study from MIT suggests that combining kinase inhibitors with experimental drugs known as ribonucleases could lead to better results.
More Melanoma News and Melanoma Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Accessing Better Health
Essential health care is a right, not a privilege ... or is it? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can give everyone access to a healthier way of life, despite who you are or where you live. Guests include physician Raj Panjabi, former NYC health commissioner Mary Bassett, researcher Michael Hendryx, and neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#544 Prosperity Without Growth
The societies we live in are organised around growth, objects, and driving forward a constantly expanding economy as benchmarks of success and prosperity. But this growing consumption at all costs is at odds with our understanding of what our planet can support. How do we lower the environmental impact of economic activity? How do we redefine success and prosperity separate from GDP, which politicians and governments have focused on for decades? We speak with ecological economist Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Propserity, and author of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab