Diagnosed with Melanoma? Better Get a Second Opinion!

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These results show that diagnoses ranging from moderately atypical lesions to early stage invasive melanoma are neither accurate nor reproducible, say the authors.

While I am the first person to be cynical about conventional oncology I am the first person to admit that diagnosing cancer is difficult. The article below talks about melanoma. But pathologists have similar challenges with many cancers including breast, colorectal and prostate cancer. Challenging diagnoses is one of the many reasons to get a second opinion.

Further, a diagnosis of any cancer is not a zero/sum game. Just because your oncologist is told by the pathologist that the sample removed from your skin is in fact melanoma, it is then challenging to determine the stage and therapy plan-

  • Is the cancer aggressive or slow growing?
  • What is the age and health of the patient? How will the patient respond to chemotherapy and or radiation?
  • Do I treat the cancer more or less aggressively ? Is it about quantity or quality of life?

To complicate this issue further conventional oncology has few if any effective therapies for melanoma yet there are several integrative therapies shown to enhance the efficacy of specific chemotherapy regimens.

I am a long-term survivor of an “incurable” cancer called multiple myeloma. I am also a cancer coach. Have you been diagnosed with melanoma? Scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Study raises concern over accuracy of melanoma diagnoses

“The results show that diagnoses can vary among pathologists, particularly for cases in the middle of the disease spectrum, suggesting the potential for both overdiagnosis and under diagnosis…

Diagnosis relies on visual assessment of skin samples (biopsies) under a microscope by a pathologist, but the reliability of the criteria used to diagnose these skin have never been established with rigorous standards…

The study was inspired by Dr Elmore’s experience as a patient undergoing a , which resulted in three different independent interpretations, ranging from benign to invasive . Ten years later she is healthy and doing research on the topic…

The highest levels of accuracy were found for class I mild lesions (92%) and class V high stage invasive melanoma (72%) – these cases are at the polar ends of the disease spectrum…

In contrast, interpretations for cases in the middle of the spectrum had noticeably lower accuracy, as less than half of the diagnoses were in concordance with the reference diagnosis; class II moderately atypical lesions (25%); class III severely atypical lesions and melanoma in situ (40%); and class IV early stage invasive melanoma (43%)…


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