Excision guidelines and follow-up strategies in cutaneous melanoma: Facts and controversies
The ongoing increase in melanoma incidence throughout Caucasian populations worldwide raises the question of an economic and efficient management of primary melanoma and follow-up. The primary treatment of a cutaneous melanoma is surgical excision. An excision biopsy is recommended, and safety margins of 1 cm for tumor thickness up to 2 mm and 2 cm for a higher tumor thickness should be applied at the primary excision or in a two-step procedure. When dealing with facial, acral, or anogenital melanomas, micrographic control of the surgical margins may be preferable to allow reduced safety margins and conservation of tissue. Whereas the treatment for primary melanoma is accepted world wide, follow-up strategies for melanoma patients are discussed controversially, and so far, no international consensus has been reached.