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Melanomas excised faster in primary care

Patients who have melanomas excised in primary care face fewer delays and have the same survival rates as hospital patients, a new analysis shows.

GPs excised melanomas within 12 days of presentation compared with 41 days for hospital clinics.

There was no significant difference in survival between the two groups, although melano-mas excised by GPs tended to be in younger patients than those seen in hospital. Some 16 per cent of melanomas were excised by GPs, according to the data, collected through the North Wales melanoma database between 1993 and 2001.

Dr Richard Neal, clinical senior lecturer in the department of general practice, University of Cardiff, said: 'For those

excised in general practice

we had no evidence they did

any worse, which is very


'I'm not advocating they should be excised in general practice normally but if they are excised accidentally the

GP hasn't done the patient a disservice.'

GP cancer leads said the research meant GPs should not be 'immobilised' by worry of doing patients harm.

The results were presented at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting in San Francisco this month.

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