Review  |   June 2019
Dermoscopy: A Review of the Structures That Facilitate Melanoma Detection
Author Notes
  • From the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury (Student Doctor Marghoob); the Department Service, Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York (Dr Liopyris); and the Dr Phillip Frost Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery and the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida (Dr Jaimes). 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: None reported. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Natalia Jaimes, MD, Dr Phillip Frost Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 1600 NW 10th Ave, Miami, FL 33136-1015. Email: njaimes@med.miami.edu
     
Article Information
Imaging
Review   |   June 2019
Dermoscopy: A Review of the Structures That Facilitate Melanoma Detection
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June 2019, Vol. 119, 380-390. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2019.067
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, June 2019, Vol. 119, 380-390. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2019.067
Abstract

Melanoma is currently the fifth most common cancer in the United States, resulting in more than 9000 deaths each year. Despite numerous improvements in the management of advanced melanoma, the cornerstone to ensuring a cure remains early detection. Both patient and physician awareness regarding the signs and symptoms of early melanoma remain paramount. As a result, much effort has been and continues to be expended in developing and refining effective diagnostic algorithms to help identify melanomas and differentiate them from nevi, such as the ABCDE rule (A for asymmetry, B for border irregularity, C for color variegation, D for diameter >6 mm, and E for evolution in lesion size, shape, or color). To assist in the detection of more subtle melanomas requires technology to augment a visual examination. Toward this end, a simple instrument called a dermatoscope has transformed not only the appreciation of the morphology of melanoma but also its growth dynamics. The discipline of dermoscopy has improved the detection of melanoma and other skin cancers, has resulted in the detection of thinner melanomas, and has helped improve the ability to differentiate nevi (benign lesions) from melanomas, which, in turn, has resulted in fewer biopsies of benign lesions. Since patients often first present to their primary care physicians for their health-related concerns, it is imperative that primary care physicians be able to recognize the lesions that are suspicious for melanoma. This review is intended to introduce osteopathic physicians to the dermoscopic features associated primarily with melanomas located on nonglabrous skin.

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