More than half of melanomas are self-detected

More than half of melanomas are self-detected

(HealthDay)—More than half of melanomas are self-detected, and more melanomas are self-detected by women than men, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

José Antonio Avilés-Izquierdo, Ph.D., from Hospital General Universitario "Gregorio Marañón" in Madrid, and colleagues examined who first detects melanoma in a study involving 783 patients diagnosed with cutaneous melanoma between 1996 and 2012. The authors assessed correlations between who noticed the melanoma, epidemiology, clinical presentation, histology, and .

The researchers found that 53 percent of were self-detected. Bleeding, itching/pain, and/or nodule enlargement were the reasons for consulting in 32 percent of these patients. More melanomas were self-detected among women, with better prognosis. Compared with women, men had significantly more melanomas in non-easily visible locations. Eighty percent of melanomas noticed by dermatologists were incidental findings. Self-detected melanomas were thicker and more often ulcerated, developed metastases more frequently, and correlated with more melanoma-related deaths.

"Patients with melanomas that were self-detected by women had better prognoses than those that were self-detected by men, especially for patients >70 years of age," the authors write. "This group might therefore be a logical target for melanoma detection education."

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