What are the USPSTF guidelines for screening and early detection of basal cell carcinoma (BCC)?

Updated: Mar 02, 2020
  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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In 2016, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) renewed its conclusion that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against routine screening (total body examination by a primary care doctor or patient self-examination) for early detection of skin cancers in the adult general population. [100]

The USPSTF did note the following clinical considerations:

  • Skin cancer of any type occurs more commonly in men than in women and among persons with a fair complexion, persons who use indoor tanning beds, and persons with a history of sunburns or previous skin cancer. 
  • Specific risk factors for melanoma include having an atypical mole, multiple (ie, ≥100) moles, and having a family history of melanoma.
  • The risk of melanoma increases with age; the median age at diagnosis is 63 years, and the median age at death is 69 years.
  • Clinical visual skin examination should assess skin lesions for asymmetry, border irregularity, color variability, diameter greater than 6 mm or evolution over time (ABCDE criteria)

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