Reference/Study Question


Geographic and patient variation in receipt of surveillance procedures after local excision of cutaneous melanoma (Barzilai et al., 2004)

What are the surveillance practices for Medicare beneficiaries with invasive melanoma?

Method: Retrospective cohort study using SEER-Medicare data.

Sample: 3,389 patients aged ≥65 years diagnosed with invasive melanoma from 1992 through 1996 and who survived for at least 2 years after diagnosis. Surveillance examination and tests were examined (CBC, liver enzymes or lactic dehydrogenase, chest X ray, CT scans, and MRI).

Statistical methods: Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank test.


Explanatory variables: Gender and age, tumor stage and thickness, geographic area.


(The American Academy of Dermatology does not recommend a specific follow-up interval schedule, but recommended follow-up in some situations, including patient education, examination of the skin, and laboratory/radiologic examination between one and four times per year for the first 2 years after diagnosis and one to two times per year thereafter. Routine laboratory tests and imaging tests are not required in asymptomatic patients with melanoma ≤4 mm in depth for initial staging or routine follow-up.)

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