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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Jul;57(1):60-6. Epub 2007 May 9.

Risk factors for presumptive melanoma in skin cancer screening: American Academy of Dermatology National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Screening Program experience 2001-2005.

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  • 1Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Since its inception in 1985, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Screening Program has strived to enhance early detection of cutaneous malignant melanoma (MM) by providing nationwide skin cancer education campaigns in combination with free skin cancer screenings.

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze the AAD screening data from 2001 to 2005 in order to identify factors associated with MM detection, and thereby derive a model of increased likelihood for MM detection through visual skin examinations at screenings.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Patients completed a standardized AAD pre-screening form with historical and phenotypic information. Clinicians then recorded suspected clinical findings noted at visual skin examination. Statistical analyses were conducted using SPSS 14 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Ill).

RESULTS:

Five factors, which can be remembered with the acronym HARMM, independently increased the likelihood of suspected MM being found in the 362,804 persons screened: History of previous melanoma (odds ratio [OR] = 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.9-3.8); Age over 50 (OR = 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.3); Regular dermatologist absent (OR = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.3-1.5); Mole changing (OR = 2.0; 95% CI, 1.9-2.2); and Male gender (OR = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.3-1.5). Individuals at highest risk (4 or 5 factors) comprised only 5.8% of the total population, yet accounted for 13.6% of presumptive MM findings, and were 4.4 times (95% CI, 3.8-5.1) more likely to be diagnosed with suspected MM than individuals at lowest risk (0 or 1 factor). Receipt of a total skin examination at screening independently increased the likelihood for identifying suspected MM (OR = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.3-1.6). However, significantly fewer screenees in the highest risk group versus those in the lowest risk group underwent total skin examinations (53.7% vs 62.5%).

LIMITATIONS:

Risk factors studied limited to variables collected in screenee enrollment form.

CONCLUSIONS:

A higher-risk subgroup of the skin cancer screening population can be identified through assessment of MM risk factors using the HARMM criteria. Refocusing efforts to provide a total skin examination to those individuals with multiple risk factors has the potential to both reduce costs and increase yields for suspected MM in future mass screening initiatives.

PMID:
17490783
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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