We Are Sunshine

Study Exposes New Melanoma Myth

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Another study from within the American dermatology industry is suggesting that melanoma incidence is not really increasing but only appears to be doing so because doctors are more aggressively diagnosing lesions as melanoma.

2010-02-04 melanoma myth copy“These researchers pointed out that the incidence of melanoma in 2002 was six times higher than in 1950 suggesting an increase of near epidemic proportion. They also have observed that there is considerable disagreement among pathologists concerning what is melanoma and what is not. Other observations have also suggested that the increased incidence of melanoma is confined to early stage disease and may be due to physicians looking more closely and performing more skin biopsies. There has also been the suggestion that pathologists are more likely to diagnosis borderline lesions as melanoma in order to avoid law suits in case they are wrong,” says web site, reporting on the study published in the British Journal of Medicine.

The CancerConsultants report continued, “This is a controversial subject as there are significant efforts to encourage screening to detect early melanoma. The data presented in this paper suggests that screening may only detect melanomas of no consequence, which is not good news for advocates of screening and removal of all suspicious moles. However, there is little evidence at the present time that screening programs have decreased mortality from melanoma.”

To read the full summary of the study click here.