Regular skin cancer screening exams can make a real difference.
Patients with a strong family history of melanoma may have germline mutations that put them at high risk for melanoma themselves. A study of these high-risk patients found that regular skin cancer screening exams and education lead to detection of melanoma at a significantly earlier stage than the melanomas detected without regular skin cancer screening. 83% of melanomas detected in the frequent screening group were at the early T1 stage whereas only 40% of melanomas in the regular group were in the early stage. The take-home message is: if you have a personal history or strong family history of melanoma, in addition to checking your own skin, it is well worth getting regular skin cancer screening exams by your dermatologist.
The Impact of Longitudinal Surveillance on Tumor Thickness for Melanoma-Prone Families with and without Pathogenic Germline Variants of CDKN2A and CDK4.
Michael R. Sargen, Ruth M. Pfeiffer, David E. Elder, Xiaohong R. Yang, Alisa M. Goldstein and Margaret A. Tucker
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021;30:676–81