Experts weigh in on skin cancer screenings.
A panel of medical experts said Tuesday that there’s too little evidence to determine whether routine full-body screening for skin cancer saves lives.
The federally appointed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force gave the visual screening a rating of “I” — meaning there was insufficient evidence for it to weigh the potential benefits against possible harms — for Americans of average risk. Yet its statement drew immediate pushback, with some physicians saying the outcome might encourage people to skip the awkward ritual of stripping down for an examination by their doctor for melanoma and other skin cancers.
“We make recommendations based on evidence only, not on expert opinion, and we put equal weight on the potential benefits and the harms,” said David Grossman, vice chairman of the task force and a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. “And we really don’t have good evidence on the benefits of screening.”
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