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Medical News & Perspectives
April 1, 2020

Melanoma Diagnoses Rise While Mortality Stays Fairly Flat, Raising Concerns About Overdiagnosis

JAMA. 2020;323(15):1429-1430. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2669

May happens to be Melanoma Awareness Month, but some skeptics believe many people are too aware of melanoma.

They’re the people who want to be screened for melanoma—it’s much simpler than a colonoscopy and doesn’t necessarily require a physician’s office visit—but have no risk factors for the disease. They have few moles, no history of sunburn, and no family members who’ve ever been diagnosed with melanoma.

But if you go looking for melanomas, even among low-risk people, you’re going to find some. The question is whether detecting those cancers does more harm than good.