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March 2010

Dermatologists, General Practitioners, and the Best Method to Biopsy Suspect Melanocytic Neoplasms

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.

Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(3):325-328. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.15

The article published by Ng et al1 in this issue of the Archives compares the rates of melanoma misdiagnosis between partial and excisional biopsies. The authors report an increased rate of misdiagnosis, as well as microstaging inaccuracy, associated with partial biopsy compared with complete excision. Partial biopsy with a punch, specifically, increased the odds of melanoma misdiagnosis with adverse outcomes such as progression of the primary melanoma or development of metastasis. In addition, the authors reported that lesions initially managed by general practitioners (GPs) were also associated with increased odds of misdiagnosis with adverse outcomes compared with lesions initially managed by dermatologists.

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