Surgical Delays For Melanoma Patients Are Common Interview with:
Adewole Adamson, MD, MPP
Department of Dermatology
UNC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Surgery is the primary intervention for the treatment of melanoma. Little is known about how delays for surgery, defined as the time between diagnosis and surgical treatment, among melanoma patient differ by insurance type. After adjustment of patient-level, provider-level, and tumor-level factors we found that Medicaid patients experience a 36% increased risk of delays in surgery for melanoma. These delays were 19% less likely in patients diagnosed and 18% less likely in patients surgically treated by dermatologists. Non-white patients also had a 38% increased risk of delays. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Surgical delays for surgery for melanoma patients are common, regardless of insurance type. These delays disproportionally affect Medicaid and non-white patients.

If melanoma diagnosis or surgery was performed by a dermatologist, the risk of delays was significantly reduced. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We need a better understanding underlying the reasons for surgical delays among patients diagnosed with melanoma. Are there patient level or health care system at fault for which an intervention could be crafted?  In addition, we need to know how these delays could potentially affect morbidity and mortality. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Dermatologist diagnose most melanoma, therefore could be key to helping reduce surgical delays. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Adamson AS, Zhou L, Baggett CD, Thomas NE, Meyer A. Association of Delays in Surgery for Melanoma With Insurance Type. JAMA Dermatol. Published online October 04, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.3338

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.


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Last Updated on October 5, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD