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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

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Melanoma screening using patient self-assessed risk and total body photography


The current standard of care for high-risk melanoma patients is a two-step process using Total Body Photography (TBP) followed by dermoscopy and is limited to a select group of patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study of patient characteristics and self-reported melanoma risk factors associated with TBP usage and pathology-confirmed outcomes was conducted on a sample of 4,692 patients in a single practitioner private dermatology setting. Results: TBP patients were significantly more likely to be male, partnered, tobacco users, highly educated, and have increased self-reported risk factors (such as fair skin, personal history of skin cancer or melanoma, family history of skin cancer, numerous moles, or previous history of sunburn, P<0.05). Personal history of skin cancer and melanoma, male gender, ?40 moles, Medicare insurance, and increasing age were positively associated with malignancy outcomes, whereas higher education, family history of melanoma, and traditional (private) insurance were associated with reduced prevalence of malignant lesions. Patients' self-assessed skin cancer risk and access to skin detection modalities can result in detection of melanoma at early, curable stages. Higher level of education and partner status may result in a greater awareness of risk factors associated with melanoma.

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