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Medicineworld.org: Melanomas may appear different than other moles

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Melanomas may appear different than other moles




A preliminary study suggests that melanomas have a different appearance than other irregular skin moles (i.e., are ugly ducklings), as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Rates of cancerous melanoma continue to increase, and early identification allows surgeons to treat the disease by removing the tumor, as per background information in the article. The disease is more common in individuals with a number of moles or other skin marks, particularly if the marks are atypical in color, shape or size. The challenge for clinicians who diagnose and treat pigmented skin lesions is to distinguish between cancerous melanoma and non-malignant simulants, the authors write.



Melanomas may appear different than other moles

Alon Scope, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and his colleagues obtained images of the backs of 12 patients from a database of standardized patient images. All of the patients had at least eight atypical moles, and five patients had one lesion that had been confirmed as a melanoma. Thirty-four study participantsincluding eight pigmented lesion experts, 13 general dermatologists, five dermatology nurses and eight non-clinical medical staffwere asked to evaluate the images and identify lesions that looked different from all other atypical moles.

All five melanomas and only three of 140 non-malignant lesions (2.1 percent) were generally apparent as different, meaning that two-thirds of the participants identified them as ugly ducklings. The cancerous melanomas were apparent as being different to at least 85 percent of participants, whereas the agreement rate on the non-malignant lesions perceived as being different was 76 percent at most, the authors write. Four lesions were generally apparent as completely different, all four being cancerous melanomas.

For all participants, the test had a sensitivity of 90 percent, meaning 90 percent of the melanomas were identified as different. Sensitivity was 100 percent for the pigmented lesion experts, 89 percent for general dermatologists, 88 percent for nurses and 85 percent for non-clinicians.

Eventhough the sensitivity and specificity and diagnostic accuracy of the ugly duckling sign depended on clinical expertise, the values for these parameters were good in all subgroups of participants, the authors write. These preliminary findings suggest that the ugly duckling sign may prove to be a useful screening strategy for primary health care providers and even for skin self-examination.


Posted by: George    Source




Did you know?
A preliminary study suggests that melanomas have a different appearance than other irregular skin moles (i.e., are ugly ducklings), as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Rates of cancerous melanoma continue to increase, and early identification allows surgeons to treat the disease by removing the tumor, as per background information in the article. The disease is more common in individuals with a number of moles or other skin marks, particularly if the marks are atypical in color, shape or size. The challenge for clinicians who diagnose and treat pigmented skin lesions is to distinguish between cancerous melanoma and non-malignant simulants, the authors write.

Medicineworld.org: Melanomas may appear different than other moles

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