Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Thomas Colletti, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C


Objective: To review research and evidence-based resources on skin cancer prevention and early detection.

Importance: Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and its incidence is developing rapidly. Early detection and prevention of any type of skin cancer potentially can decrease the mortality and morbidity of the condition and alleviate some of the financial burdens on the American health care system.

Design and methods: We conducted a comprehensive search of published systemic reviews, journal articles, federal reports, cancer surveillance data, behavioral surveillance data from 2015 to 202 using the following databases Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); MEDLINE; Science Citation Index; US National Institutes of Health Ongoing Trials Register; NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio Database; and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.

Principal conclusions: Despite multiple initiatives and increases in public awareness, skin cancer is on the rise. To decrease the incidence of skin cancer and improve mortality and morbidity, and secondary prevention strategies can be implemented in health care and the community. Available preventative therapies include topical agents such as 5-FU, imiquimod, Ingenol mebutate, diclofenac, retinoids, colchicine, and tirbanibulin. These agents can be successfully combined with other prophylactic measures such as niacinamide, hedgehog pathway inhibitors, phototherapy, HPV vaccination, and new screening technologies. Public education about the causes of cutaneous malignancy is essential to avoid exposure to harmful UVA, UVB, HEV, carcinogenic chemicals, medications, and other risk factors. Clarifying the guidelines on skin cancer screening and implementing more preventative therapies might significantly impact the incidence of non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers.


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