SHOULD MELANOMA EXCISIONS BE SO LARGE?

A study published in The Lancet by Dr. Peter Gillgren indicates that a 2-cm excision margin is safe and as sufficient as 4-cm margins for the removal of melanomas that are at least 2-mm thick. This study took place in Sweden and involved a total of 936 patients.

This study indicates what has been believed for over a decade, that large melanoma margins are likely not necessary and do not increase one’s survival rate. Clearly, smaller surgical margins will result in less disfigurement and a simpler reconstruction after surgical removal of malignant melanoma.

Robert S. Bader, M.D., Dermatologist

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