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August 16, 2000

Is Routine Screening for Melanoma a Benign Practice?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Edman is a family physician who has been in private practice in Philadelphia, Pa [relocating to Haifa, Israel]. Dr Klaus is affiliated with the Department of Medicine (Dermatology), Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH.


Controversies Section Editor: Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, Executive Deputy Editor.

JAMA. 2000;284(7):883-886. doi:10.1001/jama.284.7.883

In many countries throughout the world, the incidence of malignant melanoma is rising rapidly. In the United States in the last 20 years, there has been an estimated 4% increase per year in incidence and nearly a 2% increase per year in mortality.1 Another alarming aspect of melanoma is its frequency in the younger population. In the United States, about 1 in 4 new cases of melanoma occur in people younger than 40 years,2 and the median age at diagnosis of melanoma is 53 years. This malignancy ranks second among adult cancers (behind adult leukemia) in potential years of life lost.3

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