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October 2015

Screening for Acral Lentiginous Melanoma in Dark-Skinned Individuals

Author Affiliations
  • 1Dermatology Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(10):1055-1056. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.1347

Amid a growing appreciation of the harms associated with cancer screening, there has been recent emphasis on education and opportunistic screening for acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) in dark-skinned individuals.1 Furthermore, articles have highlighted disparities in melanoma education and detection in dark-skinned individuals.2,3 While early detection has the greatest potential for reducing melanoma mortality in the short term, it is important to carefully consider incidence, survival, and mortality in populations targeted for screening. In dark-skinned patients, could increased pressure to detect ALM lead to significant harms in return for minimal benefit?

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