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Prevalence of Whole-Body Skin Self-Examination in a Population at High Risk for Skin Cancer (Australia)

Abstract

Objective: Whole-body skin self-examination (SSE) with presentation of suspicious lesions to a physician may improve early detection of melanoma. The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence and determinants of SSE in a high-risk population in preparation for a community-based randomised controlled trial of screening for melanoma.

Methods: A telephone survey reached 3110 residents older than 30 years (overall response rate of 66.9%) randomly selected from 18 regional communities in Queensland, Australia.

Results: Overall, 804 (25.9%) participants reported whole-body SSE within the past 12 months and 1055 (33.9%) within the past three years. Whole-body SSE was associated in multivariate logistic regression analysis with younger age ( <50 years); higher education; having received either a whole-body skin examination, recommendation or instruction on SSE by a primary care physician; giving skin checks a high priority; concern about skin cancer and a personal history of skin cancer.

Conclusion: Overall, the prevalence of SSE in the present study is among the highest yet observed in Australia, with about one-third of the adult population reporting whole-body SSE in the past threeyears. People over 50 years, who are at relatively higher risk for skin cancer, currently perform SSE less frequently than younger people.

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Correspondence to Joanne F. Aitken.

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Aitken, J.F., Janda, M., Lowe, J.B. et al. Prevalence of Whole-Body Skin Self-Examination in a Population at High Risk for Skin Cancer (Australia). Cancer Causes Control 15, 453–463 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:CACO.0000036451.39128.f6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/B:CACO.0000036451.39128.f6

  • melanoma
  • randomised-controlled trial
  • screening
  • skin self-examination