Nov. 7, 2017—Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. But a new study links early
treatment with higher survival rates. This is especially true for people
with stage I melanoma.
Prompt treatment is key
The standard treatment for melanoma is surgery. But it can be delayed by
things like surgeon or hospital availability.
Melanoma survival rates range from about 18 percent to 98 percent, according to the
National Cancer Institute, and largely depend on whether the cancer has spread. Researchers wanted
to find out how the time between diagnosis and treatment impacted these rates.
The study identified more than 153,000 adults with melanoma. They'd
all been diagnosed between 2004 and 2012. Researchers noted the factors
that can influence treatment and survival. These include age, other illnesses,
insurance type and melanoma stage.
The researchers followed up with participants anywhere from 3 to 10 years
after diagnosis. They found that treatment times for people with stage
I melanoma were especially important. Those who waited longer than 29
days to get treatment had lower survival rates:
|Time between diagnosis and treatment:
||Overall survival rate decreased by:
|30 to 59 days
|60 to 89 days
|90 to 119 days
|Longer than 119 days
The wait time wasn't as important for people with stage II or stage
III melanoma. But prompt treatment of stage I melanoma can significantly
help the cancer from progressing.
The information from this research can save lives. It can help people with
stage 1 melanoma and their doctors to schedule prompt, effective treatment.
The study was published in the
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
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