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​The Importance of Time from Diagnosis to Treatment in Melanoma​

Published on January 19, 2018

A diagnosis of cancer is always worrying and stressful. Patients will generally feel an need for urgent treatment just to get rid of it as soon as possible. For many skin cancers such urgency is not vital, however a new study from the Cleveland Clinic suggests that for melanoma, treatment should be within 30 days of diagnosis. Patients with a newly diagnosed melanoma who had treatment delayed beyond 30 days did not have has high a survival rate. Here are the numbers:

Compared to patients who were treated within 30 days, patients with stage I melanoma were:

  • 5 percent more likely to die when treated between 30 and 59 days (95% CI 1.01-1.1; P = 0.029);
  • 16 percent more likely to die when treated between 60 and 89 days (95% CI 1.07-1.25; P > 0.001);
  • 29 percent more likely to die when treated between 91 and 120 days (95% CI 1.12-1.48; P > 0.001); and
  • 41 percent more likely to die when treated after 120 days (95% CI 1.21-1.65; P > 0.001).

​Melanoma is important to diagnose early and treat quickly once it is found.​

Article Citation​
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
January 2018Volume 78, Issue 1, Pages 40–46.e7
Determination of the impact of melanoma surgical timing on survival using the National Cancer Database
Ruzica Z. Conic, MD, Claudia I. Cabrera, MD, Alok A. Khorana, MD, Brian R. Gastman, MDCorrespondence information about the author MD Brian R. Gastman

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