Browsing Scholarly Projects 2016 by Subjects
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Evaluation of Skin Cancer Screenings in Tucson, Arizona from 2006‐2013Background: One out of every three cancer diagnoses is a skin cancer, and the incidence of both melanoma and non‐melanoma type skin cancers is increasing. Skin cancers, including melanoma, are typically treatable if detected early. However, there is insufficient evidence to support recommendations to establish population based skin cancer screening programs. The specific aims of this study are 1) to evaluate characteristics of participants who attend a community skin cancer screening event and who are referred for follow up due to suspicious lesions, 2) to determine the proportion of participants with suspicious lesions identified at a community skin cancer screening event who complied with a request to visit a dermatologist or primary care physician, and 3) to evaluate attitudes toward sun protection practices, and perceived risk of developing skin cancer among participants who attend a community skin cancer screening and have a suspicious skin lesion. Methods: The Skin Cancer Institute sponsored a series of community skin cancer screening events in Tucson, Arizona from 2006 to 2013. Participants completed an American Academy of Dermatology screening form prior to a skin examination by a dermatologist. Participants with suspicious lesions identified at the examination who agreed to be contacted again received questionnaires 4 months after the initial screening to assess compliance with follow‐up recommendations, and their sun protection practices and risk perceptions. Results: 1979 community members attended the skin cancer screenings. The majority of the participants were Caucasian, females, had blue eyes and brown hair, were college educated, had no prior personal or family history of skin cancer, had health insurance but did not have a regular dermatologist, reported that they had never been to a skin cancer screening before, and stated that without this screening that they would not have their skin examined. 748 (37.8%) of community members were referred and instructed to see a dermatologist for further evaluation of a skin lesion. Of the 441 participants with a suspicious lesion who consented to participate in the follow‐up study, 120 returned a questionnaire; 90 (75%) reported that they followed up with a dermatologist or physician, and 30 (25%) did not. Of the 90 participants who followed up, 53% received a skin biopsy. The self reported diagnoses from the biopsies of the suspicious skin lesions were the following: 1% atypical or dysplastic nevus, 21% actinic keratosis, 16% basal cell carcinoma, 8% squamous cell carcinoma, 2% melanoma, and 38% did not have skin cancer. Conclusions/Impact: This study demonstrated that 38% of community skin cancer screening participants were referred for follow up due to a suspicious skin lesion being identified during a skin cancer screening event. It also appeared that 75% of those who responded to the follow‐up questionnaire complied with the request within four months, although the response rate for the follow‐up questionnaire was low. Therefore, implementing a formal reminder system following the skin cancer screenings may increase the percentage of participants who follow up with a primary care physician or dermatologist after the screening for further evaluation of their suspicious skin lesion.