USPSTF: Not enough proof for visual skin cancer screening
The evidence for skin cancer screening by visual inspection remains insufficient to assess the benefits and potential harms, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has concluded.

The "I statement" is the third issued on the topic by the USPSTF, following the initial review in 2001 and an update in 2009. The task force panel concluded that visual inspection by primary care physicians has "modest sensitivity and specificity for detecting melanoma." However, the evidence is "more limited and inconsistent" regarding detection of nonmelanoma skin cancers.

The panel found the evidence inadequate to determine whether visual inspection of the skin reduces morbidity or mortality. The review of current literature persuaded panelists that visual inspection of the skin "leads to harms that are at least small," but did not adequately define the "upper magnitude" of the potential harms, as reported online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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