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August 2, 1976

Clinical Diagnosis of Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma

Author Affiliations

Temple University Medical School Philadelphia

JAMA. 1976;236(5):484-485. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270050040031

Proper management of the cutaneous pigmented lesion is of concern to virtually every clinician. The initial step, and one of the most important steps, in the management of pigmented lesions is clinical diagnosis. Paramount among the various possible diagnoses, because of its potential life threat, is malignant melanoma. Probably the majority of physicians are unaware that primary cutaneous malignant melanomas, even in their initial stages of development, usually have a distinctive appearance that should result in considerable accuracy in clinical diagnosis. Proper clinical diagnosis in the early developmental stages of the various forms of cutaneous malignant melanoma should result in a series of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that should result in a high cure rate for this disease (a disease once regarded as one of the more formidable neoplasms to affect man, a reputation undeserved in the light of recent studies1,2).

Kopf et al, in a recent article,3