Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dermatologists Use Knowledge Of Patterns To Recognize Melanoma

Date:
April 22, 2005
Source:
Journal Of The American Medical Association
Summary:
Dermatologists depend on overall pattern recognition and comparison rather than specific analytic criteria to distinguish melanoma lesions (malignant skin cancer) from harmless skin moles, according to an article in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

CHICAGO — Dermatologists depend on overall pattern recognition and comparison rather than specific analytic criteria to distinguish melanoma lesions (malignant skin cancer) from harmless skin moles, according to an article in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Early detection is the key to reducing the death rate from melanoma, but most people, including general practitioners, are not able to distinguish melanoma from harmless moles, according to background information in the article. Helping people to detect their own melanoma in the past has relied on analytic formulas like the ABCD rule, which teaches looking for A, asymmetry; B, irregular borders; C, uneven color; and D, diameter. The authors suggest that assessing how dermatologists spot melanoma may offer better ways of teaching the general public what to look for and to use to develop a training model for general practitioners.

Julie Gachon, M.D., of the Hτpital Ste. Marguerite, Marseille, France, and colleagues assessed dermatologists' recorded immediate perceptions as well as their intuitive diagnosis of 4,036 either harmless or malignant moles (lesions) that they had decided to remove for any reason and compared that information with the final diagnosis of the lesion based on a laboratory analysis. One hundred-thirty-five dermatologists, most of whom were community physicians in private practice, recorded their overall impression of the lesion, based on their past experience; assessed the lesion using the analytic ABC criteria; recorded their impression of how different the lesion was from the patient's other skin moles (the ugly duckling sign); and noted how the lesion had changed, according to the patient. The physicians completed a second part of the questionnaire after they obtained the pathology report.

Of the 4,036 lesions removed, 1,634 were removed (40.7 percent) for aesthetic or functional reasons, 535 (13.3 percent) "only to reassure the patient", 1,199 (29.7 percent) because the dermatologist considered them suspicious and 869 (21.5 percent) because the dermatologist thought they might be precursors to melanoma. These different reasons accounted for two (1.3 percent), nine (6.0 percent), 141 (94.6 percent) and 14 (9.4 percent) of the 149 lesions that were determined to be melanoma.

"Among the different perceptions of a lesion by a dermatologist, those most relevant to making an accurate diagnosis of MM [melanoma] seem to be the feeling that this lesion is overall irregular by reference to the usual nevi [moles and beauty marks], the perception of an ugly duckling sign by reference to the other nevi in the subject, and, to a lesser degree, the knowledge that the lesion has recently changed," the authors write.

"The overall recognition process, mimicking experts in their daily practice, could be useful in the field of education at MM detection," the authors state. "Indeed a learning process with photographs, based on a global cognitive approach, is worth being assessed. ...Our study also confirms how much a recent change is important for a reliable diagnosis of MM. In this regard, the fact that an MM was found in nine (1.68 percent) of the 535 nevi that were removed only to reassure the patient should lead physicians to listen carefully to patients who want a mole resected [removed], because patients may perceive subtle changes that they may be unable to communicate."

(Arch Dermatol. 2005;141:434-438. Available post-embargo at archdermatol.com)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal Of The American Medical Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Journal Of The American Medical Association. "Dermatologists Use Knowledge Of Patterns To Recognize Melanoma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050420090940.htm>.
Journal Of The American Medical Association. (2005, April 22). Dermatologists Use Knowledge Of Patterns To Recognize Melanoma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050420090940.htm
Journal Of The American Medical Association. "Dermatologists Use Knowledge Of Patterns To Recognize Melanoma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050420090940.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) — Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) — A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) — All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins