The visual inspection of a suspicious skin lesion using the naked eye alone is not enough to ensure the accurate diagnosis of skin cancer, a group of experts have concluded following a large-scale systematic review of research.

The review, published recently in The Cochrane Library as part of a Special Collection of Cochrane Systematic Reviews, brings together a large body of research on the accuracy of tests used to diagnose skin cancer. The suite of 11 reviews was led by Dr Jac Dinnes at the University of Birmingham and supported by the Cochrane Skin Group and a team of over 30 researchers and expert advisors. The work was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The reviews summarize research evidence assessing the accuracy of different diagnostic tests to support clinical and policy related decision making in the diagnosis of all types of skin cancer.

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