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Invited Commentary
Jan/Feb 2017

The Increasing Incidence of MelanomaIt May Be More Than a Freckle

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2017;19(1):62-63. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2016.1044

The article by Zenga et al1 in this issue of JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery is a timely addition to the literature for those clinicians who treat patients with pigmented lesions of the face, scalp, and neck. While many of the brown lesions we see in our practices will be benign, the incidence of melanoma is increasing. In young adults, melanoma is second only to breast cancer in frequency.2 Early detection of melanoma is crucial to improved outcomes, with 5-year survival rates in excess of 94% for early melanoma (<1 mm) that drop to less than 50% when Breslow depth exceeds 4 mm.3 Facial plastic surgeons are in an excellent position to have a meaningfully impact on melanoma outcomes by having a high index of suspicion for lesions that are a cause for concern, given that early diagnosis followed by curative surgery is the cornerstone of melanoma management.

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