Skin-cancer screening education effective

July 11, 2006 at 6:05 PM
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BRISBANE, Australia, July 11 (UPI) -- Men who had skin lesions removed, were concerned about a mole, or at risk for melanoma are more likely to get a body skin exam, says an Australian study.

A community-based, melanoma screening intervention program significantly increased screening rates in men over the age of 50, who were motivated to seek screening for melanoma.

Melanoma rates have increased almost 15-fold, over the last 50 years and has been observed over-proportionally in men over 50 years, according to Joanne Aitken, of the Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control, at Queensland Cancer Fund in Brisbane.

Men over the age of 50 represent almost half of all deaths from melanoma in developed countries but are the least likely age group to be screened.

Aitken conducted a melanoma screening intervention trial in 18 communities in Queensland comprising of community education, local physician education and the establishment of easily accessible dedicated skin screening clinics.

At the end of the study, the self-screening rate increased two-fold and the physician-screening rate increased four-fold, according to the findings published in the August issue of Cancer.

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