Skin Cancer Update with A/Prof Giuseppe Argenziano [July]

In this skin cancer update video, Associate Professor Giuseppe Argenziano discusses a study by the International Dermoscopy Society that sheds light on melanoma under the fingernail. He explains the causes of nail pigmentation and what criteria are used for diagnosing such irregularities as melanoma.

Pigmented nails can be caused by a haemorrhage, drug use, an ethnic predisposition, a nevus, or a melanoma. The discolouration usually appears as a band of dark blue or black underneath the fingernail. Before this study was conducted in 2002, ‘regular’ bands on the nail were typically associated with nevi while ‘irregular’ bands symptomised melanoma. However, some early melanomas can appear regular – a symptom usually associated with nevi. More specific criteria were therefore needed to differentiate between the various causes of pigmented nails.

A/Prof Giuseppe Argenziano coordinated the study that sought to establish such criteria. Its key finding was that – while the regularity of the pigmented nail band is very important – the size of the band is the critical factor in determining the difference between a nevus and a melanoma. In other words, the researchers found that the regularity of a band was not the only criterion for distinguishing nevi from melanoma, but ought to be considered in conjunction with the band’s size.

The study found that a small band that covers less than one third of the nail is considered unlikely to be a melanoma, and can be monitored with follow-up checks. However, a pigmented band that covers more than a third of the nail is considered highly suspicious and ought to be acted upon accordingly.

A/Prof Giuseppe Argenziano remarks that melanomas might be dismissed as nevi in cases where they appear regular, if the additional size criterion is not conjunctly considered.


To learn more from A/Prof Giuseppe Argenziano:

Online Certificate and Diploma Program in Dermoscopy 

Led by the renowned A/Prof Giuseppe Argenziano and a team of 12 highly subspecialised skin cancer experts from Italy, Austria, Greece, USA, Japan, and Australia.

The three-part program will equip you with the skills to start practising Dermoscopy in your practice and help you progress in your knowledge and skill to an accomplished level so you can accurately diagnose a wide range of lesions on any part of the body and skin type. Developed by members of the International Dermoscopy Society and taught by the world’s leading professors, dermatologists and researchers in their respective fields, the program can be considered the most comprehensive Dermoscopy online training.

Upon completion participants will receive credit of over 50% of the Master of Science with the Medical University of Graz. Please find attached a brochure with more detailed information.

You may enrol in one (Professional Certificate), two (Professional and Advanced Certificate) or all three (Professional and Advanced Certificate and Diploma) certificate courses at once. The three certificate courses build upon the knowledge of the previous course and must be completed in sequential order to qualify for the diploma.

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