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November 1997

Malignant Melanoma vs Benign Tumors in the Young-Reply

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(11):1460. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890470140027

Malignant melanoma is considered a difficult diagnosis both clinically and histologically. Therefore, it is reasonable to presume that both overdiagnosis and underdiagnosis occur to a certain extent.

In our article,1 we omitted this subject because we are not pathologists and all the patients with melanoma registered in the Swedish Cancer Registry have been treated as patients with melanoma; thus, the lesions were removed with proper margins. Furthermore, the patients are informed that they have malignant melanoma.

With reference to the letter by Rosdahl and coworkers, we would like to point out that it is, of course, much easier to label the diagnosis as other than melanoma in a secondary situation when one has a long observation period behind and when the lesion is primarily removed. The pathologists in the primary situation have a much more difficult situation, and overdiagnosis can occur and might even be desirable to a certain

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