Dermatology Online Journal
Compliance with follow-up among patients with melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers
- Author(s): Kalimullah, Faiyaaz Ahmad
- Brown, Clarence William
- et al.
Background: A history of cutaneous malignancies puts patients at an increased risk of developing additional skin cancers, but there is little data available regarding compliance with any recommended follow-up regimens.
Purpose: To report on compliance with physician recommended follow-up regimens among patients diagnosed with melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Methods: 105 patients with cutaneous melanoma and 1151 patients with non-melanoma skin cancers diagnosed between December 1996 and December 2001 were identified through biopsy records. The records of all identified patients were then retrospectively reviewed for compliance with physician recommended follow-up regimens over a 60-month period.
Results: At 60 months following initial diagnosis, 22.6% of melanoma patients and 19.3% of non-melanoma patients were still continuing follow-up examinations. However, only 10.5% of melanoma patients and 7.2% of non-melanoma patients were compliant with the recommended follow-up schedule. Among melanoma patients, Breslow thickness correlated positively with duration of follow-up (P = 0.03). The frequency of additional primary non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers was positively correlated with duration of follow-up among patients with non-melanoma skin cancers (P ≤ 0.001).Conclusions: Patient compliance with physician recommended follow-up regimens is generally poor; further research and intervention is necessary to identify and address the underlying causes.