MANY GROUPS have for the past 20 years followed the lead of the Queensland Melanoma Programme, Australia, in promoting what is defined as secondary melanoma prevention.1 This is recognition of melanoma at the earliest possible time, on the assumption that early diagnosis and prompt treatment will reduce mortality.
Available evidence suggests that, in its earliest stages, when malignant melanomas are thinner than 1.5 mm, they may still be confined to the primary site and are therefore potentially curable. Thus, the aim is to minimize delay between recognizable tumor growth and excision on the assumption that there is a link between them, and that short delay is associated with thinner tumors.
MacKie RM. Thickness and Delay in Diagnosis of MelanomaHow Far Can We Go?. Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(3):339-340. doi:10.1001/archderm.135.3.339