Ask patients whether a suspicious skin lesion is painful or itchy could help doctors decide, rather than the appearance, if the mole is likely to be carcinogenic. So defends a study conducted by the School of Medicine at Temple University (USA) and published in the online edition last week JAMA Dermatology.
The research found that nearly 36.9 percent of skin cancer lesions are accompanied by itchiness, while 28.2 percent are painful. Skin cancers (other than melanoma) are more likely to itch or pain the same melanoma.
In the study 268 patients with skin cancer participated. After a biopsy applied to them, the participants had to complete a questionnaire indicating the intensity of pain and injury associated with itching skin.
Yosipovitch, one of the coauthors, underlines the importance of these results since skin cancer is one of the most common. More than 3.5 million skin cancers (not classified as melanoma) are diagnosed in 2 million people annually in the United States.
Yosipovitch expected to help promote these result set among dermatologists using measurement scales to measure the itching and pain in suspicious lesions to, eventually, increase early detection of skin cancers.