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"Biopsy-based staging of thicker melanomas led to significantly better 10-year metastasis-free and disease-specific survival compared with wide excision and nodal observation, a randomized trial showed."
MedPage Today | Feb 12, 2014
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Persistent rumors claim that a needle biopsy – a procedure in which a surgeon removes a small part of a suspected tumor using a needle – can cause cancer to spread. However, there is no evidence that this is the case. On the contrary, biopsies often allow early diagnosis and timely treatment of cancers. Likewise, there is no evidence that massage promotes cancer spread. Indeed, massage therapy for cancer patients can reduce pain, muscle tension, mental stress, and nausea. Cancer spread is driven by biological changes inside the cancer cells, not outside mechanical forces like a biopsy needle or a massage. Finally, sugar does not “feed” cancer. Excess sugar consumption can contribute to obesity, which is associated with increased risk of several cancers, but by itself, sugar does not have any effect on cancer spread.
ScienceDaily | Oct 25, 2013
A new way to detect melanomas sidesteps the discomfort and disfiguration of biopsies by letting dermatologists look directly into intact skin. Called confocal microscopy, the method shows cells deep enough to distinguish most skin cancers—including melanomas, basal cell carcinomas, and squamous cell carcinomas—from benign lesions that do not need treatment. According to a dermatologist who is trained in this method, confocal microscopy could ultimately spare half of patients from biopsies.
Medical Xpress│Nov 20, 2013