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A Fast-Track Referral System for Skin Lesions Suspicious of Melanoma: Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study from a Plastic Surgery Center

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Introduction. To minimize delay between presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of cutaneous melanoma (CM), a national fast-track referral system (FTRS) was implemented in Denmark. The aim of this study was to analyze the referral patterns to our department of skin lesions suspicious of melanoma in the FTRS. 

Methods. Patients referred to the Department of Plastic Surgery and Breast Surgery in Zealand University Hospital were registered prospectively over a 1-year period in 2014. A cross-sectional study was performed analyzing referral patterns, including patient and tumor characteristics. 

Results. A total of 556 patients were registered as referred to the center in the FTRS for skin lesions suspicious of melanoma. Among these, a total of 312 patients (56.1%) were diagnosed with CM. Additionally, 41 (7.4%) of the referred patients were diagnosed with in situ melanoma. 

Conclusion. In total, 353 (63.5%) patients had a malignant or premalignant melanocytic skin lesion. When only considering patients who where referred without a biopsy, the diagnostic accuracy for GPs and dermatologists was 29% and 45%, respectively. We suggest that efforts of adequate training for the referring physicians in diagnosing melanocytic skin lesions will increase diagnostic accuracy, leading to larger capacity in secondary care for the required treatment of malignant skin lesions.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer2908917
TidsskriftPlastic Surgery International
Vol/bind2016
Antal sider5
ISSN2090-1461
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2016

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