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Skin Cancer Detection and Treatment


Biopsy Staging Ups Survival in Melanoma

Biopsy-based staging of intermediate-thickness or thick melanomas led to significantly better 10-year metastasis-free and disease-specific survival compared with wide excision and nodal observation, final results of a randomized trial showed.

February 12, 2014

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Myriad's myPath(TM) Melanoma Test is Highly Effective in Verification Study

Myriad Genetics, Inc. announced that results from a verification study showed the Myriad myPath(TM) Melanoma test effectively differentiated malignant melanoma from benign skin lesions.

October 14, 2013

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T-Rays Offer Potential for Earlier Diagnosis of Melanoma

The technology that peeks underneath clothing at airport security screening check points has great potential for looking underneath human skin to diagnose cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages, scientists say.

September 11, 2013

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Groundbreaking Consensus Statement Provides a Road Map for Treating Melanoma Patients with Cancer Immunotherapy

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Consensus Statement on Tumor Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Cutaneous Melanoma was created to address the lack of information about when and how to implement cancer immunotherapy by practicing clinical oncologists and related health care providers.

August 27, 2013

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Hispanics Urged to Perform Skin Self-exams, Discuss Cancer Risk with Physicians

More than three-quarters of Hispanics patients in North Carolina aren't performing skin self-exams (SSE) to detect possible skin cancers, and physicians need to do a better job of educating their patients about this potentially life-saving practice, say researchers in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

August 27, 2013

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An Alternative Diagnostic Algorithm for Detecting Pediatric Melanomas

Unfortunately, juvenile melanoma may be misdiagnosed due to a low index of suspicion, absence of conventional ABCDE diagnostic criteria. Is there a better diagnostic algorithm for detecting pediatric melanomas?

July 8, 2013

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Older Men Less Likely to Examine Skin for Signs of Cancer

Men aged 50 years and older were less likely to perform skin self-examinations for signs of skin cancer and to seek a skin cancer screening.

March 1, 2013

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Epidemic Increases In Melanoma Rates Three Of Four Americans Surveyed Have Never Had Skin Cancer Examination

Despite alarming increases in skin cancer rates in the U.S., only 24% of American adults have had a skin check by a dermatologist.

February 21, 2013

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91% of Hispanics Reported Lack of Regular Skin Examinations

Most Hispanic patients reported not knowing the risk factors for skin cancer and not receiving a regular skin examination or performing an annual skin self-examination, according to study results.

January 31, 2013

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Low Skin Cancer Screening Rates for U.S. Hispanics Show Need for Intervention Development

When it comes to getting screened for skin cancer, only one in 14 U.S. Hispanic adults is shown to have ever gone through the process, compared to one in four non-Hispanic white adults.

May 21, 2012

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Call For Hairdressers To Get Skin Cancer Training

Hairdressers can and should be trained to check their clients for skin cancer, say health experts.

March 19, 2012

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Melanoma Study Raises Red Flag

Dermatologists have long promoted the ABCDs of melanoma detection­ - A for asymmetry, B for border irregularity, C for color variation and D for diameter larger than six millimeters. But a recent study on nodular melanoma - an aggressive subtype of the skin cancer - forced Martin Weinstock, professor of dermatology and epidemiology, to suggest a few more letters for the alphabet.

February 2, 2012

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Definition Of Giant Congenital Nevus Refined

A new definition of giant congenital nevi should help physicians identify infants with supersized moles that are at risk for melanoma, neurocutaneous melanocytosis, liposarcoma, and other tumors.

October 20, 2011

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Sentinel Node Biopsy Safe, Effective In Head And Neck Melanomas, U-M Study Finds

A common technique for determine whether melanoma has spread can be used safely and effectively even in tumors from the head and neck area.

August 5, 2011

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Early-stage Melanoma Tumors Contain Clues To Metastatic Potential

In a study published in the July 12 issue of journal Cancer Cell, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute demonstrate that it's possible - early in a tumor's growth - to identify cancer genes that endow the tumor with the ability to metastasize.

July 12, 2011

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GPs Lack Accuracy in Spotting Skin Cancer: Study Non-dermatologists Often Miss The Real Culprit, Researchers Say

When general doctors refer patients to a specialist to investigate a suspicious skin lesion, it's more often another lesion that turns out to be cancerous a new study finds.

May 16, 2011

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Blood Test May Help Predict Spread Of Melanoma

It's possible that a blood test could be used to predict the risk of cancer spreading, or metastasizing, in people who have melanoma skin cancer, a new study suggests.

April 15, 2011

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Tropical Treatment May Prevent Melanoma 

While incidents of melanoma continue to increase despite the use of sunscreen and skin screenings, a topical compound called ISC-4 may prevent melanoma action formation, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

April 26, 2011

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Once Again, Results Mixed For SN Biopsy In Melanoma

In a large but nonrandomized group of patients with primary melanoma, sentinel node biopsy significantly prolonged disease-free survival, but offered no prolongation of distant metastases free- or melanoma-specific survival.

April 5, 2011

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FDA Approves New Treatment For A Type Of Late-Stage Skin Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Yervoy (Ipilimumab) to treat patients with late-stage (metastatic melanoma) the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

March 25, 2011

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Roche Skin-Cancer Drug Meets Mid-Stage Trial Goals

Roche Holding AG Monday said mid-stage trials of its experimental oral skin-cancer drug vismodegib showed the medicine to be successful in shrinking tumors in some patients.

March 21, 2011

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Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy Reliable For Staging Melanoma

Some variation of the feasibility and performance of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLN) is present in the clinical setting today.

March 10, 2011

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Laser Technology Might Help Doctors Diagnose Melanoma

Researchers say they've developed a new and potentially more accurate way to diagnose melanoma lesions, using laser technology.

February 23, 2011

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AAD: Study Finds Melanoma Underreported To Cancer Registries

National estimates of the incidence of malignant melanoma may be substantially off-base due to widespread underreporting of new cases to state cancer registries by dermatologists, results of a small survey suggest.

February 17, 2011

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New Adhesive Tape Test for Melanoma 

An experimental, noninvasive test that relies on a special adhesive tape to collect cells from suspicious skin lesions can accurately identify both early and advanced melanomas, researchers say. 

February 11, 2011

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Through Exams A Must For Those At High Risk Of Skin Cancer

Patients at high risk for melanoma benefit from a follow-up program that can detect the deadly skin cancer at an early stage, new research finds, while a second study notes that embarrassment prevents some people from having a doctor examine their skin for suspicious lesion.

January 17, 2011

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Shave Biopsies Accurately Identify Most Melanomas

Shave biopsies of possible melanoma usually provides diagnostic information to plan surgical treatment, judging by a retrospective study of 600 patients.

December 27, 2010

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Ultraviolet Light Helps Skin Cancer Cells Thrive, Researchers Report

The sun's ultraviolet light activates an enzyme that helps skin cancer cells survive and proliferate, researchers report.

December 7, 2010

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Primary Care Doctors Performing More Skin Cancer Screenings

The rate of skin cancer screening by primary care physicians has increased, compared with relatively stable rates for breast, pelvic, and rectal examinations in this setting, according to a study.

November 10, 2010

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Cleveland Physicians and Scientists Focus on Skin Cancer Research, Treatment

Case Western Reserve creates the Skin Cancer Institute and co-hosted a Patient and Caregiver Symposium with AIM at Melanoma.

September 27, 2010

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Skin Cancer Recurrence May Be Preventable

While surgical and medical oncologists do not think twice about combining treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, in the treatment of cancer patients, dermatologists rarely use adjuvant therapies once they have excised skin cancers, according to one dermatologist.

September 1, 2010

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Plant agents prevents skin cancer, studies show

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio discovered that the combination of certain plant substances can prevent cell damage caused by skin cancer. 

September 1, 2010

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"Co-conspirator' cells may hold key to skin cancer prevention

A new research has identified cancer cells called 'co-conspirator' in the genesis of melanoma - a finding that could be the key to predicting and preventing skin cancer.

August 31, 2010

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Millions Skipping Life-Saving Cancer Treatments Over Cost

Millions of cancer patients are skipping treatment because of cost, putting long-term health and well being at risk.

June 19, 2010

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Elective Lymph Node Dissection in Patients with Melanoma
Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Dr. J. A. Newton-Bishop et al. conclude that there is "no significant overall survival benefit for patients undergoing elective lymph node dissection. Trials included in this review, however, contain significant bias. The question is not answered for all patients, and the results do not exclude the possibility that some subgroups may benefit from elective lymph node dissection."
March 15, 2010
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Treating Melanoma in the Elderly a Significant Economic Burden
"In the United States, the cost of treating melanoma in patients aged 65 years or older was about $249 million annually." If treated at earlier disease stage, "annual direct costs to patients could be cut by 40% to 65% of the current value, or between $99 million and $161 million."
March 17, 2010

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AAD [American Academy of Dermatology] Annual Meeting:  Advances Improve Detection of Early Melanoma

Dr. H. S. Rabinovitz of Univ. of Miami "discussed diagnostic tools such as dermoscopy, full-body photography, mole mapping, and reflectance confocal microscopy, and evolving technologies such as the computerized image analysis system..."
March 5, 2010

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Radiographic Staging in Advanced Melanoma Should Be Limited to Selected Patients:  Presented at SSO [Society of Surgical Oncology Annual Cancer Symposium]

Hope is that radiographic staging of stage 3 melanoma patients will identify hidden metastasis and "avoid morbidity associated with radical lymph node dissection..." But imaging now detects small lesions with "uncertain clinical significance;" too many false positives. Researchers then identify those classes of patients who should receive complete radiographic staging.
March 8, 2010
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What Is Lymphedema?  What Causes Lymphedema?

Dissertation on lymphedema and functions of lymphatic system. Patients treated for cancers such as skin cancers are at risk. "Patients who undergo cancer treatment are commonly [in UK] offered lymphedema assessment as part of their after-care treatment program."
March 2, 2010

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Popular Mnemonic [ABCD] Should Reflect Darkness, not Diameter, of Skin Lesions

"Diameter criterion discourages patients from looking for earliest lesions, proponents say. Opponents to change argue lack of diameter criterion would result in too many biopsies, higher costs.... Currently, there is a grassroots move in dermatology to change the ‘D' criterion from ‘diameter' to ‘dark.'"
March 2, 2010

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With Skin Cancers, Self-Exam Stressed

The recent controversies on medical screenings and some history of skin cancer screening recommendations. "The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a monthly head-to-toe self-examination and a yearly skin exam with a physician. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that people ‘check their birthday suit on their birthday' and see a dermatologist if they notice anything changing, growing or bleeding on their skin. To assist with self-examinations, the academy offers a downloadable body mole map to help track moles...."
February 2, 2010

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Ultrasound with Elastography May Cut Down on Biopsies
"When used with ultrasound, elastography helps distinguish between cancerous and benign breast lesions, which reduces unnecessary biopsies."  Dr. Siegel said that "dermatologists tend to biopsy any lesions that seem visually suspicious for disease. Consequently ... many benign lesions are needlessly biopsied in order to avoid the risk of missing a potentially deadly melanoma.'"
December 1, 2009

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Melanoma Staging and Classification System Revised
Revisions to the American Joint Committee on Cancer Melanoma Staging Database.  "The researchers identified the dominant prognostic factors for localized melanoma and replaced level of invasion with mitotic rate as a primary criterion for defining T1b melanomas. They also defined criteria for the N category in patients with regional metastases, the M category in patients with distant metastases, and classified all patients with microscopic nodal metastases, regardless of extent of tumor burden, as stage III."
November 24, 2009

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Genes from Same 'Family' Interact with Each Other to Prevent Skin Cancer, says New Study

The Cancer Research UK study on BRAF.
November 22, 2009

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Predicting Who Will Survive Skin Cancer
"Some patients with advanced melanoma survive for years after their cancer has spread, while others die quickly. Experts have never been able to predict who among those with this often fatal skin cancer will live longer than others. But this may be about to change." Dr. N. Bhardwaj's study could improve therapy especially at different levels of stage 3 melanoma.
November 19, 2009

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Adjuvant Radiotherapy Improves Local Control in High-risk Melanoma Patients
"Researchers affiliated with the Intergroup Randomized Trial ... have reported that adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) improves regional control for patients with high-risk melanoma without a statistically significant effect on survival."
November 12, 2009

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Israeli Invention Allows for Early Detection of Cancerous Skin Tumors
The instrument from Ben-Gurion Univ. "allows cancerous tumors on the skin to be detected and examined before they become visible to the naked eye.... The newly developed instrument, known as OSPI, uses safe levels of radiation, projected at the tumor and returned to the gadget, which measures its character, including its contours and spread."
November 17, 2009

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More Doctors Need to Learn to Spot Skin Cancers
"'Primary-care physicians are thus ideally suited to screen and triage high-risk patients...' the study authors wrote.... ‘If current physicians in training do not learn this skill set in medical school or residency, there is a low likelihood that they will acquire this knowledge in their day-to-day practice, which could have potentially devastating consequences for melanoma recognition going forward.'"
October 19, 2009

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CARR:  Fastest Growing Cancer in the US, 10-18-09
"Skin cancer when caught early is easily dealt with by removal of the tissue. But, unfortunately, it is the fastest growing cancer in America that is without any real protocols for chemotherapy or radiation. In other words, catch it early or else. It is the disease that felled Maureen Reagan...."
October 17, 2009

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Ultrasound Can Predict Tumor Burden and Survival in Melanoma Patients
"We have identified two ultrasound patterns of lymph node metastasis in melanoma patients which can identify correctly any amount of tumor cells in the sentinel lymph nodes in 75-90% of cases before proceeding to surgery on the sentinel lymph nodes." Dr. Voit of Charite Hospital in Berlin.
September 23, 2009

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Taking Aim at Skin Cancer
"If approved by the FDA, the handheld MelaFind device made by Electro-Optical Sciences will revolutionize the way patients are screened for skin cancer."
August 22, 2009

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Novel Therapeutics for Melanoma

"Advanced melanoma has the highest per-death loss of years of potential life expectancy except for adult leukemia.... While many of these [novel] compounds are being tested in clinical trials, there are more agents in various stages of preclinical development." Review of most promising novel agents for advanced melanoma includes agents targeting the MAPK and mTOR pathways, agents targeting the immune system, and other targeted drugs such as PARP Inhibitors. (This article may sound like last week's article on metastatic melanoma therapies but it has different authors.)
July 27, 2009
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Novel Therapeutics for the Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma
"Metastatic malignant melanoma is an incurable disease with a median survival of 8.5 months and a probability of surviving 5 years after the diagnosis of less than 5%. To date, no systemic therapy has meaningfully changed these survival end points." Through discussion of innovative strategies such as immune therapy, tyrosine kinase inhibitors and angiogenesis inhibitors, cancer vaccines, and "biochemotherapy." "Other than the current US FDA-approved agents, clinical trials will remain the focus of treatment for metastatic melanoma."
July 17, 2009

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Media Coverage Generates 47% Increase In Melanoma Diagnoses
"Media coverage of skin cancer advice and sun awareness campaigns [by the UK government and private charities, especially in 2008] may have generated a 47 percent increase in diagnoses of melanoma in just one year, according to research due to be released at the British Association of Dermatologists' Annual Conference next week." Success in promoting earlier diagnoses of melanoma.
July 7, 2009

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Abnormal Tests Lead to Huge Hassles.  Second Question on Skin Cancer Biopsy Results
Excellent advice from physician (1) on how to deal with ambiguous or inconclusive tests when confronted by insurer, (2) need to heed pathologist's report on biopsy.
June 29, 2009

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Melanoma:  Treatment Options

Discusses surgery; chemotherapy (approved drug DTIC); experimental anti-angiogenesis drugs; varieties of still experimental immunotherapy (1. activating immune system to attack tumor, 2. biologic therapy using agents in body such as interferon alpha, tumor necrosis factor, and 3. lymphokines such as interleukin 2); and gene therapy.
June 19, 2009

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EORTC:  Interferon Alfa-2b Improved RFS, Decreased QOL in Stage III Melanoma

"Adjuvant therapy with pegylated interferon alfa-2b improved recurrence-free survival among patients with resected stage III melanoma.... However, the researchers also observed a negative effect on global health-related quality of life...."
May 20, 2009

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Dermoscopy as a Technique for the Early Identification of Foot Melanoma
"Malignant melanoma is the most common primary malignant tumor arising on the foot." Dermoscopy is "a useful and significant adjunct to clinical examination, which ultimately may lead to earlier recognition of this aggressive tumor."
May 12, 2009

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Melanoma and Pregnancy:  What Every Woman Needs To Know About the Risks, Prognosis
Dr. M. S. Driscoll: "... the most important factor to consider is a woman's prognosis, which is based upon her stage of the disease ....tumor thickness, presence or absence of ulceration, and whether the melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs." Can treat melanoma during pregnancy.
May 4, 2009

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Detect Skin Cancer Early With Free Screenings
"Physicians from the American Academy of Dermatology are offering free skin exams in May. " Find places.
May 1, 2009

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ABCs of Mole Removal
If half of all melanomas arise in moles, "why not remove all moles?" Discusses why not practical.
February 10, 2009

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Improving Cancer Diagnosis Skills
In NZ, about 100 general practitioners learn about and try out how to use dermascope technology to improve melanoma diagnosis.
November 4, 2008
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Leading Dermatology Clinic Chooses IntraOp’s Mobetron to Provide
Non-Surgical Radiation Therapy to Skin Cancer Patients. Will use “the Mobetron to Administer Electron-Beam Radiation to Patients, Reducing the Need for Many Surgeries.”  Mobetron is portable.
November 3, 2008
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TMZ, Thalidomide and Whole Brain Radiation Ineffective for CNS [Central Nervous System] Metastatic Melanoma
A phase-2 study of 39 patients with CNS metastases.
October 31, 2008
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The "Ugly Duckling" Sign:  Agreement Between Observers
Drs. Dusza and Halpern “assess whether multiple observers can identify the same pigmented lesion(s) as being different from a patient's other moles ("ugly duckling" [UD] sign) and to explore whether the UD sign is sensitive for melanoma detection.”  Among results, found that “all 5 melanomas (100%) and only 3 of 140 benign lesions (2.1%) were generally apparent as different.”
September-October 2008
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Completion Lymph Node Dissection Might Be Avoided After Detecting a Single Sentinel Node Micrometastasis in Cutaneous Melanoma:  Presented at ESSO
September 15, 2008

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SPECT/CT May Be Better Than Lymphoscintigraphy at Detecting Sentinel Lymph Nodes in Breast Cancer:  Presented at ESSO [European Society of Surgical Oncology
Conventional imaging does not identify as many nodes that have tumors as does the “single-photon-emission computed tomography camera with integrated computed tomography (SPECT/CT).”
September 15, 2008

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Isolated Limb Infusion a Safe and Effective Way to Deliver Chemotherapy in Elderly Patients With Advanced Metastatic Melanoma of the Limb: Presented at ESSO
September 15, 2008
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Skin Cancer Treatment on the Spot
“A new clinic to identify and remove skin cancer” was opened at a UK hospital, in response to an "inefficient" public system which required 2 separate waiting lists starting at general practitioner level.
September 14, 2008
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Acral Lentiginous Melanoma of the Foot and Ankle - A Case Series and Review of the Literature
“33% of patients were initially diagnosed incorrectly.”
September 15, 2008
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