Melanoma: Accurate Diagnosis From Visual Inspection?

Although melanoma is rare, it has one of the most rapidly rising incidence rates of any cancer, and it causes the majority of skin cancer deaths. Prompt and accurate diagnosis is crucial: if surgical excision is delayed, metastasis can result. On the other hand, a false diagnosis can lead to unnecessary tests and surgeries. In conjunction with taking a patient's history, a clinician's visual inspection of a suspicious lesion is usually the first assessment used in the diagnosis of skin cancer, a...
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Prevalence and Risk Factors for Skin Cancer Revealed

​ Information from a new population-based nationwide English dataset has revealed insights concerning the prevalence and risk factors for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), the second most common form of skin cancer. Prior to this point, due to a high diagnosis rate and the challenges associated with accurately accounting for multiple tumors per patient, keratinocyte cancers were seldom recorded in cancer registries. Changes made in 2013 to England's National Cancer Registration and Analy...
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Epigenetic Cancer Treatments May Cause Aggressive Tumors

A new study suggests that epigenetic cancer treatments may do more harm than good. Epigenetic treatments impact epigenetic modifiers, genes which modify the epigenome—the collection of chemical compounds controlling genetic expression—by causing DNA methylation, altering chromatin structure, or modifying post-translational chromatin. Because tumors frequently have epigenetic modifiers that are mutated or altered in their expression, these genes have become a focus of cancer research. But what is...
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Atypical Moles: Melanoma Risk Factor, Not Precursor

​ Atypical moles have long been associated with an increased risk of skin cancer, the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States. Despite the prevalence of atypical moles, there is a dearth of data and approved guidelines regarding how best to monitor them and their progression to cancer. Currently, dermatologists remain divided on this issue; some rely on a second excision procedure, and some monitor the biopsy site. To close the research gap, a team of researchers from the Pigmented...
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New Drug Combination Shows Promise in Melanoma

By utilizing drugs called BH3 mimetics, researchers have had success in turning off the gene B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2), which functions as a cancer cell survival switch that, depending on its position, allows or disallows the growth of cancer cells. In blood cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, scientists have created a treatment that mimics BH3, the protein that controls the BCL-2 switch, called venetoclax. Although venetoclax has shown promise in treat...
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