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Special ultrasound accurately identifies skin cancer
Date:12/1/2009

CHICAGO High-frequency ultrasound with elastography can help differentiate between cancerous and benign skin conditions, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"High-frequency ultrasound with elastography has the potential to improve the efficiency of skin cancer diagnosis," said lead author Eliot L. Siegel, M.D., vice chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSM) in Baltimore. "It successfully delineated the extent of lesions and was able to provide measurable differentiation among a variety of benign and malignant lesions."

There are more than one million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the U.S. every year, according to the American Cancer Society. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for about 68,720 cases of skin cancer and 11,590 deaths in 2009, despite the fact that with early detection it is highly curable.

Suspicious skin lesions are typically diagnosed by dermatologists and biopsied based on their surface appearance and characteristics. Unfortunately, even to experienced dermatologists, benign and malignant lesions often appear similar visually and on physical examination, and some malignant lesions may have a benign appearance, especially in their early stages. It is not uncommon for patients to have one or more lesions that appear concerning.

"Dermatologists tend to biopsy any lesions that seem visually suspicious for disease," said coauthor Bahar Dasgeb, M.D., from the Department of Dermatology at Wayne State University in Detroit and Pinkus Dermatopathology Lab in Monroe, Michigan. "Consequently, many benign lesions are needlessly biopsied in order to avoid the risk of missing a potentially deadly melanoma."

Elastography was found to distinguish between benign and malignant lesions not by their visible appearance but by measuring their elasticity or stiff
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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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