Following the ever increasing wave of skin cancer cases, the US Preventive Service Task Force has begun to look over the procedures involved in diagnosing melanoma. Uncertainty mounts up in skin cancer screening procedures after the Task Force discovered that there is not enough evidence to suggest if the procedures are helping or harming the patient.
Pressures are mounting up regarding whether the national melanoma screening program is actually helping the patients or not to increase their chances of survival. In order to see if the procedures are capable of returning palpable results, the USPSTF had to consult rather a large volume of data, coming from different medical sources.
And so, ample publication were available for their perusal, some of them being considered very prestigious. Among the publication consulted by the Task Force were MEDLINE, Cochrane Collaboration Registry (on the chapter of controlled trials) and PubMed.
Uncertainty mounts up in skin cancer screening procedures after the specialists working for the preventive task force discovered that in terms of prevention and death the actual screenings were of little consequence. All in all, the specialists working for the prevention brigade consulted a total amount of 13 studies and 15 articles in order to reach their stunning conclusion.
Also, they were able to ascertain that routine skin cancer screenings did not affect in any significant way neither the number of new cases nor the rate of death. Moreover, it would also seem that the procedure itself could ultimately prove to be harmful to the patients.
Usually, such a screening procedure entails a thorough visual exam and, in many cases, a biopsy must be performed in order to rule out the possibility of melanoma. It has been discovered that in many cases, the biopsies are really not necessary. Thus, the whole consultation has the potential for disaster given the fact that unnecessary biopsies could leave the patients with bad scars, thus deforming their skin’s aspect.
Michael P. Pignone, M.D and a member of the Preventive Task Force declared in a press release that there is no hard evidence that routine skin screenings can actually help the patient or not. The senior doctor said that the best way to rule out melanoma is to talk to your attending physician if you observe a skin condition.
Also, the doctor and his team provided the reporters with a couple of guidelines aimed at educating the public about preventing various forms of skin cancers. According to the preventive brigade, we should avoid, as much as possible, exposing ourselves to ultraviolet rays. Thus, people should avoid spending too much time outside from 12 until 3:00 p.m.