U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 57, Issue 4, October 2007, Pages 555-572; doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2007.06.032


In the past 5 years, there have been notable strides toward the earlier recognition and discovery of melanoma, including new technologies to complement and augment the clinical examination and new insights to help clinicians recognize early melanoma. However, incidence and mortality rates throughout most of the developed world have risen over the past 25 years, while education and screening, potentially the best means for reducing the disease, continue to be severely underutilized. Much progress needs to be made to reach middle-aged and older men and persons of lower socioeconomic status who suffer a disproportionate burden of death from melanoma. Worldwide melanoma control must also be a priority, and comprehensive educational and screening programs should be directed to Northern Ireland and a number of Eastern European nations, whose 5-year survival rates range between 53% and 60%, mirroring those of the United States and Australia more than 40 years ago.

Learning objective: After completing this learning activity, participants should be aware of the most recent melanoma epidemiologic data, both in the United States and internationally; worldwide early detection and screening programs; clinical strategies to recognize and improve the detection of early melanoma; the latest technologies for early detection of melanoma; and public and professional education programs designed to enhance early detection.