A new way of predicting whether skin cancers will spread to other organs is published this week in the British Journal of Cancer. This means that resources can be concentrated on those patients most in need of close follow up, and lead to earlier detection of the cancer spreading.
Malignant melanomas result in 1,600 deaths a year in the UK due to the spread of the disease to other parts of the body. By measuring the density of lymph vessels surrounding a melanoma, scientists at Bristol University working with doctors at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, have been able to predict which tumours will spread.
Previously, the best way of predicting whether a melanoma was likely to spread was by measuring its thickness, since it was believed that the thicker a tumour was, the more likely it was to spread. But many thin melanomas spread and only 40% of thick ones do.
Cherry Lewis | alfa
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