May 28, 2024

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Self-examination for skin cancer detection

Self-examination for skin cancer detection

Research summary: Self-examination for skin cancer detection

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This month we consider skin self-examination for skin cancer detection. In the latest Melanoma Practice Review my eye was drawn to a paper published in Dermatology reporting on the sensitivity and specificity of self-examination for melanoma.

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I think we all know that about half of melanomas are detected by a patient or carer and half by a doctor.

This study shows a sensitivity of 59 per cent and specificity of 82 per cent. This resonates with previous findings, and I think it is important because it strengthens the importance of patients being active participants in their care.

I have tweaked my practice a little – I now urge patients to monitor their own skin, and I tell them “if you see something you don’t like the look of, research tells us you are probably right, so let me see it and check it for you”.

Read the full research paper here.

– Prof David Wilkinson

Read more from Professor David Wilkinson on recent research: