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One-time Melanoma Screening Appears to Be Cost-effective for Elderly People

costs associated with one-time screening, one individual would have one additional year of life because of the screening. In addition, costs totaled $80,700 per quality-adjusted life year gained for screening every two years compared with one-time screening, and $586,800 per quality-adjusted life year gained for annual screening compared with screening every two years. Among siblings of patients with melanoma, one-time screening cost $4,000 per quality-adjusted life year gained compared with current practice, screening every two years cost an additional $35,500 per quality-adjusted life year gained, and annual screening cost an additional $257,800 per quality-adjusted life year gained.

Cost-effectiveness analyses are typically used when large randomized trials of screening procedures cannot be done for either logistical or ethical reasons, the authors write. "Using this method, interventions in the United States are generally considered cost-effective at less than $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year gained or less than $100,000 per quality-adjusted life year gained," they continue.

'This study suggests that one-time screening of the general U.S. population at age 50 years for malignant melanoma is very cost-effective and that screening every two years of siblings of patients with melanoma may also be cost-effective, depending on disease progression rates,' according to the authors. 'Either screening programs should be expanded or efforts to perform a definitive efficacy trial should be initiated.'

Source-Eurekalert
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