Can screening for melanoma and skin cancer save lives?

Dermatol Clin. 1991 Oct;9(4):795-803.


Although screening for melanoma and skin cancer is theoretically appealing, too few data exist to evaluate its effectiveness. The rising incidence and mortality rates of melanoma and the continued incurability of metastatic disease underscore the desperate need for effective screening. The extraordinary incidence of NMSC is a public health problem, but the value of screening for NMSC has not been established. The AAD screening program offers an opportunity to obtain critical data. Further research must make our screenings more effective and efficient. We need rigorous design and evaluation of all screening efforts. In the absence of a randomized controlled trial, other design measures, with careful tracking of incidence and mortality, are critical to assessing whether screening for melanoma and skin cancer can reduce morbidity and save lives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mass Screening*
  • Melanoma / prevention & control*
  • Physical Examination
  • Self-Examination
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • United States