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Analyzing Controversies in Management and Surveillance of Early-Stage Melanoma

Analyzing Controversies in Management and Surveillance of Early-Stage Melanoma The incidence of cutaneous melanoma continues to rise dramatically worldwide, presenting a significant burden to the healthcare system. Despite this, there is still controversy in the guidelines regarding follow-up surveillance for patients with thin melanoma. Since there are no randomized clinical trials to support evidence-based guidelines for follow-up surveillance, dermatologic and oncologic organizations have developed their own recommendations based on expert opinion. However, these recommendations differ widely and are often vague, resulting in considerable variability in the management of early-stage melanoma among clinicians. The benefits of frequent follow-up visits are early detection of recurrent lesions, lower cost of early-stage melanoma compared to that of late-stage melanoma, decreased need for sentinel lymph node biopsy and adjuvant therapies, and the opportunity to educate patients on self-examination and sun protection. However, the high cost of screening and potential increased rates of biopsy, as well as over-imaging and overtreating, pose serious concerns about this approach. While more rigorous research is needed to resolve this controversy, currently clinicians should follow a relatively universal recommendation to tailor the follow-up regimen based on the patient’s relative risk of recurrence and comfort. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oncology and Therapy Springer Journals

Analyzing Controversies in Management and Surveillance of Early-Stage Melanoma

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2020
ISSN
2366-1070
eISSN
2366-1089
DOI
10.1007/s40487-020-00130-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The incidence of cutaneous melanoma continues to rise dramatically worldwide, presenting a significant burden to the healthcare system. Despite this, there is still controversy in the guidelines regarding follow-up surveillance for patients with thin melanoma. Since there are no randomized clinical trials to support evidence-based guidelines for follow-up surveillance, dermatologic and oncologic organizations have developed their own recommendations based on expert opinion. However, these recommendations differ widely and are often vague, resulting in considerable variability in the management of early-stage melanoma among clinicians. The benefits of frequent follow-up visits are early detection of recurrent lesions, lower cost of early-stage melanoma compared to that of late-stage melanoma, decreased need for sentinel lymph node biopsy and adjuvant therapies, and the opportunity to educate patients on self-examination and sun protection. However, the high cost of screening and potential increased rates of biopsy, as well as over-imaging and overtreating, pose serious concerns about this approach. While more rigorous research is needed to resolve this controversy, currently clinicians should follow a relatively universal recommendation to tailor the follow-up regimen based on the patient’s relative risk of recurrence and comfort.

Journal

Oncology and TherapySpringer Journals

Published: Sep 15, 2020

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