The increasing use of shave biopsy for diagnosing invasive melanoma in Australia

Lachlan A Byth and Jenny Byth
Med J Aust 2020; 212 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50491
Published online: 16 March 2020

To the Editor: De Menezes and colleagues1 report increasing use of shave biopsy for melanoma diagnosis in association with significant rates of base transection. They cite a wide range of base transection rates in the literature (7–68%), giving pause for thought: what is at play here besides the shave biopsy itself? This is an important question, as the incidence of invasive melanoma rose significantly over the study period along with a doubling of the frequency of shave biopsy. Particularly in Queensland, dubiously honoured with the title of “melanoma capital of the world,” we must be cautious about dismissing this efficient and low cost procedure.

  • Lachlan A Byth1,2
  • Jenny Byth3

  • 1 Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD
  • 2 Ipswich Hospital, Ipswich, QLD
  • 3 Byth Medical, Brisbane, QLD


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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