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Genetics of Skin Cancer (PDQ®): Genetics - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Melanoma

Table 7. Characteristics of Common Models for Estimating the Likelihood of aCDKN2AMutation continued...

At present, chemoprevention of melanoma in high-risk individuals remains an area of active investigation; however, no medications are recommended for melanoma risk reduction at this time.

Level of evidence: 5

Pancreatic cancer screening inCDKN2Amutation carriers

Screening for pancreatic cancer remains an area of investigation and controversy for carriers of CDKN2A mutations. At present, no effective means of pancreatic cancer screening is available for the general population; however, serum and radiographic screening measures are under study in high-risk populations. One proposed protocol [138] suggested starting pancreatic screening in high-risk families at age 50 years or 10 years before the youngest age at diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in the family, whichever came first. In this algorithm, asymptomatic patients would be screened annually with serum cancer antigen 19-9 and endoscopic ultrasound, whereas symptomatic patients or those with abnormal test results would undergo endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and/or spiral computed tomography (CT) scanning. A study evaluating use of endoscopic ultrasound and ERCP in high-risk families concluded that these procedures were cost-effective in this setting.[139]

The disadvantages of screening include the limitations of available noninvasive testing methods and the risks associated with invasive screening procedures. ERCP is the gold standard for identifying early cancers and precancerous lesions in the pancreas. However, serious complications such as bleeding, pancreatitis, and intestinal perforation can occur with this procedure. Implementation of pancreatic screening in the CDKN2A mutation carrier population is further complicated by the apparent lack of increased incidence of pancreatic cancer in many of these families.

Most experts suggest that pancreatic cancer screening should be considered for CDKN2A mutations carriers only if there is a family history of pancreatic cancer and, even then, only in the context of a clinical trial.

Level of evidence: 5

General population

Screening

Screening for melanoma is not recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), although the American Cancer Society, the Skin Cancer Foundation, and the American Academy of Dermatology recommend monthly skin self-examination and regular examination by a physician for people older than 50 years or those with multiple melanomas or dysplastic nevus syndrome. USPSTF does not recommend screening because they judge that the evidence for efficacy is not strong. On the other hand, the groups who recommend screening base their support on the logic that screening will find melanomas early in their development and that those melanomas will not progress further. This position is supported by the unusually detailed prognostic information that can be obtained through histopathology examination of primary melanoma tumors, in which a variety of features (lack of invasion through the basement membrane, thin cancers [≤ 0.76 mm], absence of vertical growth phase disease, ulceration, and histologic regression) have been solidly linked to favorable prognosis.[140]

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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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