Technological advances for the detection of melanoma: Part I. Advances in diagnostic techniques.

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Managing the balance between accurately identifying early-stage melanomas while avoiding biopsies of benign lesions (i.e. over-biopsy) is the major challenge of melanoma detection. Decision-making can be especially difficult in patients with extensive atypical nevi. Recognizing that the primary screening modality for melanoma is subjective examination, studies have shown a tendency towards over-biopsy. Even low-risk routine surgical procedures are associated with morbidity, mounting healthcare costs, and patient anxiety. Recent advancements in noninvasive diagnostic modalities have helped to improve diagnostic accuracy, especially when managing melanocytic lesions of uncertain diagnosis. Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence have also shown exciting potential in changing the landscape of melanoma detection. In part I of this continuing medical education article, we review novel diagnostic technologies such as automated 2D and 3D total body imaging with sequential digital dermoscopic imaging, reflectance confocal microscopy, and electrical impedance spectroscopy, and we explore the logistics and implications of potentially integrating artificial intelligence into existing melanoma management paradigms.


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