Elevated, firm and growing spots are key features of atypical melanomas

Heard of the ABCD skin check (Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter)? New guidelines include EFG (Elevated, Firm, Growing) to highlight dangerous atypical melanomas too!

A Cancer Council Australia multidisciplinary working group is currently revising and updating the 2008 evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the management of cutaneous melanoma.

While there have been many recent improvements in treatment options for metastatic melanoma, early diagnosis remains critical to reducing mortality from the disease.

Melanomas are often associated with moles, but 20 per cent of melanomas are only partially pigmented and lighter than a classic mole.

Atypical melanomas may lack the more classical ABCD (asymmetry, border irregularity, colour variegation, diameter greater than 6mm) features of melanoma.

Because of this the revised guidelines advise that any lesion that continues to grow or change in size, shape, colour or elevation over a period of more than one month should have a biopsy taken or referred for expert opinion.

The Clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of melanoma for health professionals can be found online (here: http://wiki.cancer.org.au/australia/Guidelines:Melanoma).

While the guidelines have been specifically developed for practitioners, they also help the general public know what to look for and going forward, Cancer Council Queensland will be educating the community on the changes and what to look for.

In Queensland each year 3660 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year and 315 die on average from the disease.

Cancer Council Queensland are committed to ensuring that all Queenslanders have the opportunity to reduce their cancer risk, so our CEO Chris McMillan and General Manager, Research, Joanne Aitken discussed the revised guidelines on ABC’s 7.30 Report this week. Watch the video, here: http://ab.co/2yaSdZt.

For more information or interviews, please contact:
Lisa Maynard,
Senior Media Advisor,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5171
Mobile: 0488 015 702