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Detection and Diagnosis of Cutaneous Melanoma


Patricia K. Long, FNP-C, Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.
David W. Ollila, MD, Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

The incidence of melanoma continues to rise. The clinician needs to be familiar with characteristics of lesions more likely to be melanoma and be able to apply the “ABCDE” criteria. Additional imaging techniques such as digital photography and dermoscopy aid the clinician in deciding which nevi require biopsy. The techniques for biopsying cutaneous lesions vary, and clinicians need to be familiar with the various techniques. Once a cutaneous melanoma is diagnosed, the most important histologic feature of the primary is Breslow thickness.
Key words: melanoma, pigmented nevi, digital imaging, dermoscopy.