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REVIEW  PRACTICAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF SKIN CANCER PATIENTS 

Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2017 June;152(3):231-40

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.17.05581-X

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Staging and follow-up of cutaneous melanoma patients

Carlota, GUTIÉRREZ GARCÍA-RODRIGO, Ambra ANTONINI, Tea ROCCO, Cristina PELLEGRINI, Tamara MICANTONIO, Maria C. FARGNOLI

Department of Dermatology, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy


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Melanoma is responsible for the greatest number of deaths caused by skin malignancies. The purpose of monitoring patients diagnosed with melanoma is to allow early detection of recurrence and any subsequent primary tumors. Several dermatological and oncological societies developed their own set of guidelines for the surveillance and management of melanoma patients depending on the stage of the disease. The object of this article is to provide a comprehensive, systematic overview that summarizes and interprets previous studies, to characterize current practices regarding progression of melanoma, division into stages of development, and subsequent surveillance. We have performed a systematic review search to December 2016 using the MEDLINE database and performed a manual search of selected references. We examined the staging system and the different surveillance programs for melanoma patients. Consistent recommendations with proven evidence are available for staging melanoma patients. Conversely, recommendations are more controversial for follow-up procedures. Given the inadequate number of randomized controlled trials, consensus on the best, universally-applicable follow-up procedure has not been reached and interpretation of the roles of imaging and laboratory tests, as well as of the appropriate frequency and duration of physical examinations, vary widely. Based on a universally-accepted staging system different surveillance procedures have been developed, which may be mainly classified in two groups: low- and high-intensity strategies.


KEY WORDS: Melanoma - Neoplasm staging - Follow-up studies

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