USPSTF: Evidence Lacking to Recommend Skin Cancer Screens

Share this content:
USPSTF: Evidence Lacking to Recommend Skin Cancer Screens
USPSTF: Evidence Lacking to Recommend Skin Cancer Screens

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- There is insufficient evidence to recommend regular full-body exams for skin cancer as a means of preventing deaths from these cancers, according to a new review and recommendation statement published in the July 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The new report doesn't change the Task Force's prior statement on skin cancer screening issued in 2009. This latest update is "an explicit call for more evidence," David Grossman, M.D., M.P.H., vice-chairperson of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, told HealthDay, adding that very little new research has surfaced on either the benefits or the harms of screening for skin cancer during the past seven years.

The largest recent study involved more than 360,000 people in northern Germany who received regular skin screening as well as education on sun protection, Grossman said. That study showed a nearly 50 percent decline in mortality rates from melanoma in men, and improved melanoma mortality rates compared with other nearby regions. "It's unclear whether the drop they saw in mortality is related to the screening or to improved behavioral response, with people using skin protection," Grossman said. In addition, "that rate wasn't sustained over time," he said. "If we saw a number of studies like this and they all were consistent and sustained, we would consider such evidence."

In an accompanying editorial, dermatologist Martin Weinstock, M.D., Ph.D., of Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School in Providence, R.I., argued that "insufficient evidence of benefit" doesn't mean the same thing as "evidence of no benefit." The largest benefit of regular skin exams would be catching a melanoma before it became invasive. "The worst risk would be unnecessary biopsies that could lead to scarring of a person's skin and greater health care costs," he told HealthDay.

Recommendation Statement
Evidence Report
Editorial

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

More in Home

NTproBNP Levels Are Significantly Lower in Blacks

NTproBNP Levels Are Significantly Lower in Blacks

Higher NTproBNP levels linked to increased risk of death; this association did not differ by race

Data May Weigh on Pros/Cons of Expanded Care Optometry

Data May Weigh on Pros/Cons of Expanded Care ...

Majority of residents in Kentucky, Oklahoma, New Mexico live within 30 minutes of ophthalmologist

Gaps Seen Between Hearing Loss, Receipt of Medical Evaluation, Tx

Gaps Seen Between Hearing Loss, Receipt of Medical ...

About 20.6 percent of those with hearing less than excellent/good had visited doctor for hearing issues

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »