Items in AFP with MESH term: Skin Neoplasms

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Recognizing Neoplastic Skin Lesions: A Photo Guide - Article

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.


Just a Scar? - Photo Quiz


Lentigo Maligna Melanoma - Photo Quiz


Early Detection and Treatment of Skin Cancer - Article

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.


Prevention and Early Detection of Malignant Melanoma - Article

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.


Linear Lesions in a Neonate - Photo Quiz


Shave and Punch Biopsy for Skin Lesions - Article

ABSTRACT: Shave and punch biopsies are essential procedures for physicians who manage skin conditions. These office-based procedures can diagnose questionable dermatologic lesions, including possible malignancies. Approaches include the superficial shave biopsy, saucerization excision, punch biopsy, and elliptical excision. A superficial shave biopsy can be used for raised lesions. A saucerization biopsy may be performed for flat or pigmented lesions. Punch biopsies yield full-thickness samples and can be used for lesions that require dermal or subcutaneous tissue for diagnosis. Indications for biopsy of suspected melanoma remain controversial. Sufficient tissue may be obtained with the quicker, less costly saucerization biopsy or the more time-consuming, invasive elliptical excisional biopsy.


Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma: A Primary Care Perspective - Article

ABSTRACT: Cutaneous malignant melanoma accounts for 3 to 5 percent of all skin cancers and is responsible for approximately 75 percent of all deaths from skin cancer. Persons with an increased number of moles, dysplastic (also called atypical) nevi, or a family history of the disease are at increased risk compared with the general population. An important tool to assist in the evaluation of potential melanomas for patients and health care professionals is the ABCDE mnemonic, which takes into account asymmetry, border irregularities, color variation, diameter, and evolution. Any suspicious pigmented lesion should be biopsied. Appropriate methods of biopsy can vary, and include deep shave, punch, and excisional biopsy. Regardless of the procedure selected, it is essential that the size of the specimen be adequate to determine the histologic depth of lesion penetration, which is known as the Breslow depth. The Breslow depth is the most important prognostic parameter in evaluating the primary tumor. Because early detection and treatment can lead to identification of thinner lesions, which may increase survival, it is critical that physicians be comfortable with evaluating suspicious pigmented lesions and providing treatment or referral as necessary.


Diagnosis and Treatment of Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Article

ABSTRACT: Family physicians are regularly faced with identifying, treating, and counseling patients with skin cancers. Nonmelanoma skin cancer, which encompasses basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, is the most common cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet B exposure is a significant factor in the development of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. The use of tanning beds is associated with a 1.5-fold increase in the risk of basal cell carcinoma and a 2.5-fold increase in the risk of squamous cell carcinoma. Routine screening for skin cancer is controversial. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force cites insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine whole-body skin examination to screen for skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma most commonly appears as a pearly white, dome-shaped papule with prominent telangiectatic surface vessels. Squamous cell carcinoma most commonly appears as a firm, smooth, or hyperkeratotic papule or plaque, often with central ulceration. Initial tissue sampling for diagnosis involves a shave technique if the lesion is raised, or a 2- to 4-mm punch biopsy of the most abnormal-appearing area of skin. Mohs micrographic surgery has the lowest recurrence rate among treatments, but is best considered for large, high-risk tumors. Smaller, lower-risk tumors may be treated with surgical excision, electrodesiccation and curettage, or cryotherapy. Topical imiquimod and fluorouracil are also potential, but less supported, treatments. Although there are no clear guidelines for follow-up after an index nonmelanoma skin cancer, monitoring for recurrence is prudent because the risk of subsequent skin cancer is 35 percent at three years and 50 percent at five years.


Enlarging Mass on the Back - Photo Quiz


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