Why Dermoscopy is Crucial to Patient Outcomes
- Posted on: Aug 15 2017
Because one-third of all cancer diagnoses each year are categorized as skin cancer, it falls upon general practitioners and dermatologists to use diagnosis techniques that offer the highest degree of accuracy. Non-melanoma skin cancers rarely present the risk of mortality, but they can have devastating effects due to disfigurement. This is why early and accurate diagnosis and treatment is vital to patient outcomes. The idea of skin cancer diagnosis and treatment is not only to prevent death but also to preserve tissue and cosmetic appearance.
Historically, clinical screening and diagnosis of skin cancers have involved visual observation of morphologic features. You know them well, the ABC’s. The problem with the naked-eye observation of color variance, asymmetry, diameter, and border anomalies is that it lacks accuracy. At the most, 80% sensitivity is obtained using this technique. Small melanomas that are not irregularly shaped or shaded may be missed. Also, misdiagnosis and subsequent excision may occur when a benign lesion mimics melanoma. Neither of these mishaps is conducive to high-standard care. Dermoscopy can be the game-changer.
Studies suggest that accuracy is significantly improved when dermoscopy is incorporated into the skin cancer screening. This methodology is routinely used as a second-level technique on suspicious lesions. Some experts theorize that dermoscopy makes, even more, sense for initial clinical examination. As a general practice, examination with magnification is believed to reduce unnecessary biopsies and growth removals while also increasing appropriate diagnoses.
Diagnosis and Then Some
The earliest possible diagnosis of skin cancer is one aspect of improving patient outcomes. The other is excision technique. In recent years, the recognition of Mohs micrographic surgery as a viable treatment option for squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas has continued to rise. Furthermore, studies are beginning to indicate the value of Mohs in the treatment of certain melanoma skin cancers.
We are committed to increasing awareness and to expanding physicians’ knowledge in the area of skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. Our courses offer multiple levels of curriculum to aid Mohs surgeons in the advancement of their skill set.
Learn more about Mohs surgery for your practice at (800) 616-2767.
Posted in: MOHS Surgery