Screening and Prevention Measures for Melanoma: Is There a Survival Advantage?
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- Curiel-Lewandrowski, C., Chen, S.C., Swetter, S.M. et al. Curr Oncol Rep (2012) 14: 458. doi:10.1007/s11912-012-0256-6
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Controversy has emerged over the past decades regarding the value and impact of melanoma screening to detect early stage disease for improved prognosis. Those questioning the benefits of prevention efforts base their arguments on the absence of prospective, randomized studies demonstrating decreased melanoma mortality to justify the cost associated with screening and educational campaigns. For those in favor of melanoma screening, the lack of proven survival benefit is not a justification to abandon this approach, but rather a reflection of the lack of resources necessary to conduct a long-term trial. In 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)report did not recommend routine primary care screening for the general population given the absence of evidence. However, since the USPSTF report, a series of new studies are available, which support the potential benefit of screening and have the potential to significantly impact current policies regarding skin cancer screening, particularly for melanoma.