Melanocytic lesions excised from the skin: what percentage are malignant?
Article first published online: 12 FEB 2010
1994 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian Journal of Public Health
Volume 18, Issue 2, pages 221–223, June 1994
How to Cite
Del Mar, C., Green, A., Cooney, T., Cutbush, K., Lawrie, S. and Adkins, G. (1994), Melanocytic lesions excised from the skin: what percentage are malignant?. Australian Journal of Public Health, 18: 221–223. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-6405.1994.tb00232.x
- Issue published online: 12 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 12 FEB 2010
Abstract: We estimated the diagnostic skill of clinicians managing melanocytic skin naevi by measuring the percentage of malignant melanomas, premalignant and potentially malignant naevi, in 1896 excised melanocytic lesions submitted to a pathology service over 11 weeks. They comprised 8 per cent. The percentage increased with age: 4 per cent in the under-40s, 17 per cent in those aged 40–59, and 30 per cent in those over 60, (P < 0.001, sex-adjusted). Although the percentage was twice as high in males (11 per cent) as females (6 per cent), after adjustment for age the difference was not significant. Invasive melanomas, 3 per cent of the total, were similar: 1 per cent were from under-40s; 7 per cent from those aged 40–59 years; and 14 per cent from those over 60. They comprised 4 per cent of lesions from males and 2 per cent from females. These trends may indicate poor specificity of clinical diagnosis, notwithstanding other reasons for removal of naevi (cosmetic), particularly among patients under 40, and females.