In the News: Clinical Study on COVID-19 Delays in Diagnosing Skin Cancer Earns Advanced Dermatology National Recognition
Concerns over the magnitude of COVID-19’s effect on the timely detection and management of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers has led an elite team of researchers, including Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery’s own physicians Dr. James Solomon and Dr. Matt Leavitt, to participate in clinical studies that have recently been published in national publications including the January 19, 2021 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD).
Dr. Solomon and Dr. Murray Cotter also participated in a recent study that demonstrated the effectiveness of total-body skin cancer exams, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology®, an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Journal.
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Less access and fears result in fewer skin cancer exams during COVID-19
“Reduced access to care due to COVID-19 has raised concerns that patients with potential skin cancers may have had material delays in detection and care,” said Dr. Solomon, who is the Director of Research and Principal Investigator of Ameriderm Research, the research division of Advanced Dermatology. “This study assessed the magnitude of delays in initial skin cancer diagnosis and management.”
With institutional review board approval, data from January 2019 to August 2020 were analyzed from available outpatient-chart reviews of 143 US dermatology practices (350 providers) covering 4.7 million patients across 13 geographically distributed states. The number of diagnosed cutaneous melanomas, cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), and basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) was determined.
“Total 2020 skin cancer diagnoses trailed that of 2019, with 279 fewer cutaneous melanomas, 6000 fewer cutaneous SCCs, and 9914 fewer BCCs detected,” said Dr. Solomon.
More than a million skin cancers likely went undiagnosed in 2020
“Extrapolating these findings to the full US population (330 million), an estimated 19,600 cutaneous melanomas, 421,300 cutaneous SCCs, and 696,100 BCCs have had materially delayed initial diagnosis or treatment.”
“Although skin cancer diagnoses have now returned to the same-month 2019 baseline, our findings suggest that a large backlog of skin cancers remains undiagnosed. These delays may lead to skin cancers presenting at more advanced stages.”
Total-Body Skin Cancer Examssm by dermatology professionals save lives
The ASCO published study explored the effectiveness of dermatology providers performing total-body skin cancer exams versus partial skin exam screenings and concluded that skin cancer is detected at significantly higher rates using total-body skin cancer exams. In fact, it concluded a total-body skin cancer exam is 23.5 times more likely to identify a melanoma than a Pap smear is to identify a cervical cancer.
“The bottom line is that skin cancer didn’t take a break due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Solomon. “If you’re due for your annual total-body skin cancer exam, get it on your calendar. We’re taking strict safety measures to protect your health and to give you the peace of mind to get the care you need.”
Don't delay. Schedule your Total-Body Skin Cancer Examsm today.
BOOK ONLINE 866.400.3376