Safety of Skin Cancer Screening Questioned


Members of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) are frowning upon the routine of full body screening for skin cancer.

USPSTF believes there is not enough conclusive evidence available to prove regular skin cancer screenings are more beneficial than damaging.

Studying Screen Tests

Experts from the task force examined data collected from 13 different studies and 15 written works on melanoma skin cancer screening as well as health outcomes of cancer patients in hopes to find out if full-body screening has helped reduced the rate of death from the illness.

According to their report, there was no significant difference in the death rate of those who participated in the study. However, there was a slight reduction in the number of melanoma deaths.

When to Screen Test

A screening or testing which involves skin damage, scarring, biopsies and so forth could potentially be harmful to those who have no specific skin cancer signs.

Yet, the experts recognize those individuals with a family history of skin cancer or symptoms of skin cancer getting testing and getting full screenings to catch the disease prior to receiving it or before it spreads.

Despite the screening controversy, the experts advise a future study to identify the impact screening has on individuals who are at high risk of developing skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Statistics

  • More than 10,000 people lose their life to skin cancer annually.
  • Around 75,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year.
  • Melanoma affects about 68,000 individuals annually.
  • Melanoma kills more than 9,200 patients each year.

Sources: Tech Times and Herald Current

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