Health Day Reports "Just Seeing a Doctor May Boost the Odds of Surviving Melanoma"

May 9, 2014

Health Day
By: Robert Preidt
May 9, 2014

"Regular doctor visits may reduce the risk of dying from melanoma skin cancer, according to a new study.

Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit analyzed the cases of 251 white patients, average age 60, diagnosed with melanoma between 2001 and 2007. All of the patients had health insurance.

The risk of dying from melanoma was 70 percent lower among patients who had at least one visit with their family doctor or a specialist in the five years before they were diagnosed with the disease, the investigators found.

When factors such as age, gender and other health problems were accounted for, the risk of death was 90 percent lower in patients who had seen a specialist. The researchers also found that patients who underwent screening tests such as a colonoscopy or a fasting blood test also had a greatly decreased risk of death.

"This study is important because it's not about having health insurance or having access to care. It's about tapping into that care," lead author and dermatologist Dr. Melody Eide said in a Henry Ford Health System news release.” Read More.