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Nurses could be taught melanoma screening

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A screening system using multiple observers could be used as a tool to identify malignant melanomas, a study has found.
Images of patients’ skin were assessed by a panel of 34 experts, including five dermatology nurses.

There were five melanomas in the pictures – all of which were detected by the panel. Only three of the 140 benign lesions were singled out as different.

They had been asked to pick out ‘ugly duckling’ lesions that looked different from the others on the same patient.

Study authors said: ‘If the [ugly duckling] sign proves to be a valuable screening tool, it could be taught to primary care physicians, to nurse practitioners and even to patients who are performing skin self-examination.’

Archives of Dermatology (2008) 144:58-64
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