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August 2016

The Case for Skin Cancer Screening With Total-Body Skin Examinations

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, School of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson
  • 2Department of Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science, School of Allied Health Sciences, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee
  • 3Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi, University
  • 4Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 5Department of Dermatology, University of Connecticut Health Center and School of Medicine, Farmington
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(8):999-1001. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.2440

Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent volunteer panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, updated its 2009 recommendation guidelines for skin cancer screening. The new guidelines are essentially identical to those released in 2009. The USPSTF continues to assert that “the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of visual skin examination by a clinician to screen for skin cancer in adults.”1 Although this updated recommendation statement seems neither for nor against screening, it largely downplays the importance of skin cancer screening and may lead physicians and patients to avoid total-body skin examinations (TBSEs).