Defining the patient at high risk for melanoma
In this practical review, we aim to help clinicians identify patients who are at significant risk of developing malignant melanoma. Universal screening is challenging, thus it is important to effectively single out patients who have a high risk of developing the disease. We provide a summary of pertinent questions to review when taking the patient's history, point out the phenotypic features to note during skin examination, and suggest risk stratification as a means to plan initial and long-term surveillance strategy. We mention personal and family history of melanoma as prime risk factors for melanoma, yet the review also focuses on the patient who has no history of melanoma, either in himself or his family, and the proper ways to evaluate his likelihood of developing the disease.