Items in AFP with MESH term: Skin Neoplasms
ABSTRACT: Malignant lesions of the skin are common. Patients who develop squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma often have recognizable precursor conditions. A few skin lesions resemble malignancies. Lesions that are growing, spreading or pigmented, or those that occur on exposed areas of skin are of particular concern. Knowing the similarities and differences between these lesions allows the primary physician to make a diagnosis in most cases by simple inspection and palpation. When in doubt, it is appropriate to perform an excisional biopsy of small lesions or punch biopsy of larger lesions. Removal of premalignant lesions will reduce the occurrence of malignant disease. Almost all skin cancers can be cured by early excision or destruction. For these reasons, physicians should be aware of the risk factors for skin cancer, educate patients about risk reduction and include skin inspection for premalignant and malignant lesions as a part of routine health maintenance examinations.
ABSTRACT: The incidence of malignant melanoma has increased in recent years more than that of any other cancer in the United States. About one in 70 people will develop melanoma during their lifetime. Family physicians should be aware that a patient with a changing mole, an atypical mole or multiple nevi is at considerable risk for developing melanoma. Any mole that is suggestive of melanoma requires an excisional biopsy, primarily because prognosis and treatment are based on tumor thickness. Staging is based on tumor thickness (Breslow's measurement) and histologic level of invasion (Clark level). The current recommendations for excisional removal of confirmed melanomas include 1-cm margins for lesions measuring 1.0 mm or less in thickness and 2-cm margins for lesions from 1.0 mm to 4.0 mm in thickness or Clark's level IV of any thickness. No evidence currently shows that wider margins improve survival in patients with lesions more than 4.0 mm thick. Clinically positive nodes are typically managed by completely removing lymph nodes in the area. Elective lymph node dissection is recommended only for patients who are younger than 60 years with lesions between 1.5 mm and 4.0 mm in thickness. In the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Trial, interferon alfa-2b was shown to improve disease-free and overall survival, but in many other trials it has not been shown to be effective at prolonging overall survival. Vaccine therapy is currently being used to stimulate the immune system of melanoma patients with metastatic disease.
ABSTRACT: The incidence of skin cancer is increasing by epidemic proportions. Basal cell cancer remains the most common skin neoplasm, and simple excision is generally curative. Squamous cell cancers may be preceded by actinic keratoses-premalignant lesions that are treated with cryotherapy, excision, curettage or topical 5-fluorouracil. While squamous cell carcinoma is usually easily cured with local excision, it may invade deeper structures and metastasize. Aggressive local growth and metastasis are common features of malignant melanoma, which accounts for 75 percent of all deaths associated with skin cancer. Early detection greatly improves the prognosis of patients with malignant melanoma. The differential diagnosis of pigmented lesions is challenging, although the ABCD and seven-point checklists are helpful in determining which pigmented lesions require excision. Sun exposure remains the most important risk factor for all skin neoplasms. Thus, patients should be taught basic "safe sun" measures: sun avoidance during peak ultraviolet-B hours; proper use of sunscreen and protective clothing; and avoidance of suntanning.
ABSTRACT: In addressing the problem of malignant melanoma, family physicians should emphasize primary prevention. This includes educating patients about the importance of avoiding excessive sun exposure and preventing sunburns, and advising them about the importance of prompt self-referral for changing nevi. Family physicians should be able to perform an overall risk assessment for melanoma, particularly to identify persons with familial atypical mole syndrome. Patients with such high risk should be strongly considered for referral for dermatologic surveillance. Because there are no systematic studies in primary care populations, there are no data on which to base recommendations for periodic screening in this setting. However, when performing any part of the physical examination, family physicians should be alert for suspicious nevi. Nevi detected by the family physician or pointed out by the patient should be subject to excisional biopsy with accepted techniques or be referred for such a procedure.
Atypical Moles - Article
ABSTRACT: Atypical moles can be distinguished visually by clinical features of size greater than 6 mm in diameter, color variegation, indistinct borders, and textured surface. All patients who have atypical moles should be counselled about sun avoidance, screening of family members, and regular skin checks at least once per year. Total body photography and dermoscopy can aid in regular skin monitoring for changes in atypical moles and the emergence of new lesions. The presence of multiple atypical moles increases the risk of melanoma. The greatest risk of melanoma is in patients who have more than 50 atypical moles and two or more family members with melanoma (familial atypical mole and melanoma syndrome). Atypical moles should be removed when they have features suggestive of malignant transformation. Elliptical excision is the preferred removal technique. Removing all atypical moles is neither necessary nor cost effective.
Pink-Colored Papule on the Dorsal Foot - Photo Quiz
Pigmented Preauricular Papules - Photo Quiz
Screening for Skin Cancer - Putting Prevention into Practice
Screening for Skin Cancer: Recommendations and Rationale - U.S. Preventive Services Task Force