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Depth of melanoma excision varies by physician type

Article-Depth of melanoma excision varies by physician type

Hauppauge, N.Y. — A new study shows that the depth of excision of invasive melanomas varies significantly among different types of physicians, HealthDay News reports.

Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center here surveyed 1,000 dermatologists and 184 melanoma specialists, the latter group comprising dermatologists, oncologists and surgeons in pigmented lesion clinics.

Though investigators report no significant difference among the specialties in excision depth for melanoma in situ, they found significant differences for invasive melanoma, particularly for thin invasive melanoma. Compared to specialist dermatologists and non-specialist dermatologists, specialist non-dermatologists consistently reported excising more deeply.

“There is considerable variation among physician groups with regard to depth of excision practices for the treatment of melanoma,” the authors wrote. “Given the current lack of clinical data available, studies assessing depth of excision and patient outcomes are needed to better define our surgical management of melanoma.”

The study was published in the September issue of Archives of Dermatology.

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