Management of Cutaneous Melanoma: A Public Health and Individual Patient Care Perspective
Dermatologic Surgical Procedures
Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome
Practice Guidelines as Topic
The damaging impact of cutaneous melanoma on individuals and society is apparent. As dermatologists, we are in a unique position to help each patient on a personal level and make contributions with sweeping effects on a societal level. On an individual level, the successful care of each patient involves accurate and early diagnosis, proper education, sufficient biopsy, adequate surgical and medical managements, and long-term follow-up. It is also imperative to remember that each patient presents with his or her own set of unique challenges and needs. The general assessment of risk factors and predictions on survival outcome should only serve as a starting point for discussion during the consultation. A significant percentage of patients will defy these predictions. On a public health level, the concerted endeavor until now to reduce the incidence of the disease should be viewed as a partial success, considering the recent trends in the incidence and mortality rate of the disease. However, there are still many questions that need to be addressed before the implementation of more comprehensive and effective strategies to control MM mortality. It is only through this unrelenting pursuit by the medical and scientific community that may eventually lead to understanding, and perhaps a cure for, this deadly skin cancer that is easily visualized but has thus far proven difficult to control.