Early detection of melanoma is integral to preventing morbidity and mortality.
We sought to characterize and compare incidental versus consult melanomas detected in veterans referred to the Minneapolis, MN, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center dermatology clinic.
We retrospectively reviewed charts of all dermatology consults between January 2004 and March 2012.
Of the 28,405 consults sent during the study period, 17,174 met inclusion criteria. There were 231 melanomas identified in 221 patients. In all, 144 melanomas were identified on the consult and 87 melanomas were discovered incidentally. The incidental melanoma detection rate was 0.5% (84/17,174). Consult melanomas were more likely to be invasive than incidental melanomas (relative risk 1.51, 95% confidence interval 1.23-1.86, P < .0001) and less likely to have a Breslow depth of less than 1.00 mm (relative risk 0.73, 95% confidence interval 0.61-0.88, P = .0036). Incidental melanomas were smaller than consult melanomas (mean diameter 0.98 vs 1.3 cm, respectively) and thinner (mean Breslow depth 0.64 vs 1.74 mm). Consult melanomas were more likely to be detected on the head/neck (relative risk 1.25, 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.52, P = .0295).
Nondiverse patient population is a limitation.
Melanomas detected during an in-person skin examination by a dermatologist were more likely to be detected at an earlier stage of disease.
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Publié par Elsevier Masson SAS.