Melanoma in situ in a private practice setting 2005 through 2009: Location, lesion size, lack of concern

Sherea M. Stricklin, William V. Stoecker, Joseph M. Malters, Rhett Drugge, Margaret Oliviero, Harold S. Rabinovitz, Lindall A. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Studies have shown that the incidence of melanoma in situ (MIS) is increasing significantly. Objective: This study analyzes selected clinical and demographic characteristics of MIS cases observed in private dermatology practices in the United States. Methods: This study collected 257 MIS cases from 4 private dermatology practices in the United States from January 2005 through December 2009, recording age, gender, anatomic location, lesion size, patient-reported change in lesion, and concern about lesion. Case totals for invasive melanoma during the same period were recorded. Results: The data collected showed a higher incidence of MIS in sun-exposed areas of older patients, especially men. The median age of patients at the time of MIS detection was 69 years. The most common site for MIS was the head-neck region. The number of MIS cases collected exceeded the number of invasive malignant melanoma cases during the study period, with an observed ratio of 1.35:1. Limitations: For 136 patients, data were collected retrospectively for lesion size, location, gender, and age. For these patients, patient-reported change in lesion and concern about lesion were not collected. Patients often did not consent to a full body examination, therefore, it is possible that MIS lesions may have been missed in double-clothed areas. Conclusion: Careful attention to pigmented lesions, even lesions less than 4 mm, on sun-exposed areas, including scalp, trunk, and feet, will facilitate earlier diagnosis of MIS. As only 30.4% of male patients and 50% of female patients had concern about these lesions, it still falls to the dermatologist to discover MIS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e105-e109
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • early detection
  • melanoma
  • melanoma in situ
  • patient concern
  • scalp
  • sun exposure
  • trunk


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