Melanoma Reporting Practices of United States Dermatologists

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Accuracy of US cancer statistics depends on physicians' knowledge of and adherence to reporting mandates. Significant knowledge and practice gaps have been documented in regards to melanoma reporting requirements.

OBJECTIVE

To determine whether the gaps in dermatologists' knowledge and practice of melanoma reporting persist.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The authors performed a survey of US dermatologists attending a national conference. The proportion aware of the melanoma reporting mandate and the proportion who routinely report newly diagnosed cases were calculated.

RESULTS

Ninety-one percent (158/174) of those sampled completed the survey. Forty-nine percent correctly identified melanoma as being a disease of mandated reporting. Only 34% reported newly diagnosed cases to their state registry. Dermatologists seeing low melanoma volumes were less likely to routinely report newly diagnosed cases to registries than those seeing high volumes (22.9% vs 45.4%, p = .004). Those in practice for ≤10 years were less likely to be aware of the mandate than those in practice longer (32.6% vs 57.0%, p = .006).

CONCLUSION

Most dermatologists remain unaware of melanoma reporting requirements. Resultant underestimates of the true incidence of melanoma could have resource allocation implications. Interventions aimed at improving knowledge of the mandate should focus on younger clinicians and those with lower melanoma case volumes.

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