Background Guidelines exist for the management of cutaneous malignant melanoma, but their adoption, prevalence, and impact have not yet been determined. Objective To determine current melanoma clinical management practices of US dermatologists and the variance from guidelines that might exist. Methods A cross-sectional e-mail survey study assessing preferred biopsy methods for lesions suspicious for melanoma, margins used for excision, and recommended follow-up intervals were sent to 6177 US dermatologists (540 responding). The representative nature of the responding subset was verified by comparing their demographics to that from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) membership. Results Management varied from published guidelines. Shave biopsy (35%) was the most commonly used method followed by narrow excisional biopsy (31%), saucerization/scoop shave (12%), punch (11%), and wide excision (3%). Excisional margins narrower than recommended were noted and follow-up intervals varied. There were significant management differences noted for dermatologists by practice setting and by years in practice. Limitations The impact of patient history, lesion anatomic site, and size of lesion were not assessed. Recall and nonresponder sampling bias may exist. Conclusion Variations in dermatologists' approaches to melanoma management and variance from current guidelines suggest that a knowledge gap may exist representing an educational opportunity. However, emerging data may also justify deviations from existing guidelines, suggesting a reassessment of the guidelines may be indicated.
|Journal||Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology|
|State||Published - 1 Dec 2016|
- follow up
- melanoma management
- primary cutaneous melanoma
- surgical margins