Research News

Surgery for melanoma is often delayed in Medicare patients, study finds

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1886 (Published 09 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1886
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

A fifth of US patients with melanoma being treated under the Medicare program wait more than 1.5 months before having the malignancy removed, and more than 8% wait longer than three months, a new study has found.

The researchers wrote that although no association between timeliness of melanoma excision and survival had been established, delay of excision had been shown to increase morbidity and mortality in patients with various malignant neoplasms, including cancers of the lung, bladder, and breast, and “informal recommendations suggest as customary care that melanomas undergo excision within 4 to 6 weeks of diagnostic biopsy.”

In the study, Jason Lott of Yale University School of Medicine …

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