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Eur J Cancer Prev. 2010 Jan;19(1):48-54. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e328333d113.

Creation and test of a questionnaire for self-assessment of melanoma risk factors.

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Skin Cancer Unit, INSERM, Nantes University Hospital, Nantes Cedex, France.


The objective of this study was to create a self-administrated questionnaire for people to enable them to assess their own melanoma risk factors. To test the validity of this questionnaire in a large prospective study, the answers given by the patient were systematically checked by his or her general practitioner. In this prospective study, the choice of questions was based on a review of the literature. The validity of the questionnaire was assessed by testing 1500 consecutive patients attending a consultation with their general practitioner. Considerable variations concerning the prevalence of different melanoma risk factors were noticed in the population: 44.1% had a phototype I or II, 41% had severe sunburn during infancy, 29.9% had freckling tendency, 22% had more than 50 naevi and 1.4% a personal history of melanoma. In total, 45% had more than one melanoma risk factor. The accuracy of the answers given by the patients was assured by the correction given by their general practitioners. The percentage of correct answers given by the patients was 79.9% for the phototype, 90.6% for freckling tendency, 86.6% for the number of naevi, 96.5% for severe sunburn during infancy and 98.1 and 95.8% for personal and familial history of melanoma. This study confirms that individuals with multiple risk factors for melanoma are common among patients consulting their general practitioners. Furthermore, self-screening with the self-assessment questionnaire is easily feasible and is accurate for identifying high-risk individuals. This tool might be useful for carrying out melanoma-targeted screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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