Incidental melanomas detected in veterans referred to dermatology

Jamie L. Hanson, Jaime L. Kingsley-Loso, Katherine R. Grey, Srihari I. Raju, Patricia R. Parks, Andrea L. Bershow, Erin M Warshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Early detection of melanoma is integral to preventing morbidity and mortality. Objective We sought to characterize and compare incidental versus consult melanomas detected in veterans referred to the Minneapolis, MN, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center dermatology clinic. Methods We retrospectively reviewed charts of all dermatology consults between January 2004 and March 2012. Results Of the 28,405 consults sent during the study period, 17,174 met inclusion criteria. There were 231 melanomas identified in 221 patients. In all, 144 melanomas were identified on the consult and 87 melanomas were discovered incidentally. The incidental melanoma detection rate was 0.5% (84/17,174). Consult melanomas were more likely to be invasive than incidental melanomas (relative risk 1.51, 95% confidence interval 1.23-1.86, P <.0001) and less likely to have a Breslow depth of less than 1.00 mm (relative risk 0.73, 95% confidence interval 0.61-0.88, P =.0036). Incidental melanomas were smaller than consult melanomas (mean diameter 0.98 vs 1.3 cm, respectively) and thinner (mean Breslow depth 0.64 vs 1.74 mm). Consult melanomas were more likely to be detected on the head/neck (relative risk 1.25, 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.52, P =.0295). Limitations Nondiverse patient population is a limitation. Conclusion Melanomas detected during an in-person skin examination by a dermatologist were more likely to be detected at an earlier stage of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-469
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume74
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based on work supported in part by the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center .

Copyright:
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • cutaneous malignancy
  • dermatology consults
  • detection
  • incidental lesions
  • melanoma
  • skin cancer

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