Guidelines of care for the management of primary cutaneous melanoma

Christopher K. Bichakjian, Allan C. Halpern, Timothy M. Johnson, Antoinette Foote Hood, James M. Grichnik, Susan M. Swetter, Hensin Tsao, Victoria Holloway Barbosa, Tsu Yi Chuang, Madeleine Duvic, Vincent C. Ho, Arthur J. Sober, Karl R. Beutner, Reva Bhushan, Wendy Smith Begolka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

281 Scopus citations


The incidence of primary cutaneous melanoma has been increasing dramatically for several decades. Melanoma accounts for the majority of skin cancer-related deaths, but treatment is nearly always curative with early detection of disease. In this update of the guidelines of care, we will discuss the treatment of patients with primary cutaneous melanoma. We will discuss biopsy techniques of a lesion clinically suspicious for melanoma and offer recommendations for the histopathologic interpretation of cutaneous melanoma. We will offer recommendations for the use of laboratory and imaging tests in the initial workup of patients with newly diagnosed melanoma and for follow-up of asymptomatic patients. With regard to treatment of primary cutaneous melanoma, we will provide recommendations for surgical margins and briefly discuss nonsurgical treatments. Finally, we will discuss the value and limitations of sentinel lymph node biopsy and offer recommendations for its use in patients with primary cutaneous melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1032-1047
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • biopsy
  • follow-up
  • melanoma
  • pathology report
  • sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • surgical margins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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