melanoma, screening, dermatoscopy, thermography, follow-up
Aim: Instrumental skin screening is helpful for an early diagnosis of melanoma. The authors have drawn up a diagnostic protocol based on clinical history and simultaneous dermatoscopy, thermography and ultrasound assisted objective examination. Patients and methods: 337 patients were recruited at the Second Opinion Medical Office (Modena, Italy) to perform nevi mapping. 71 patients with potentially dangerous nevi (according to the American Cancer Society – ACS) were selected for follow up. The cancer family history, phototype, density and oncological risk were reported. A clinical evaluation of morphological skin nevi was performed by dermatoscopy, dynamic thermography (cooling-down 5°C for 20 seconds) and the ultrasound method. Moreover patients were advised immediately to send photos of morphological mutations or symptoms connected with their nevi in the following months. Results: A total of 99 significant skin nevi were identified. Of these 60 were hotter than controls, and 39 had the same temperature. Cooling-down produced a mean temperature reduction of 4.5°C and a recovery of 2°C after 30 seconds. Conclusions: Conclusions of the present work suggest an innovative screening protocol applicable on a healthy young population, sensitive to the theme of precocious cancer diagnosis.