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An Bras Dermatol. 2011 Jul-Aug;86(4):669-74.

One year experience of a model for melanoma continuous prevention in the city of Jaú (São Paulo), Brazil.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Universidade Estadual Paulista "Julio de Mesquita Filho", Brasil.



Worldwide incidence of melanoma has increased in recent years faster than any other cancer. Although it represents only 4% of skin cancers it is nevertheless responsible for 60% of skin cancer deaths. This makes melanoma a public health problem.


The aim of this study was the development of a continuous program for melanoma prevention and early detection.


A city of around 130,000 inhabitants in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, was chosen for the development of a pilot project covering primary prevention and early diagnosis of melanoma. A nursing team worked for approximately 30 days in each of the 13 health centers in the city of Jaú (SP), providing guidance on self-examination of the skin, photoprotection and recognition of early signs of melanoma. Patients with suspicious lesions were immediately sent to the reference hospital for medical and dermoscopic screening. Excisional biopsies were performed on suspected melanomas.


4 four cases of early stage melanoma and 3 dysplastic nevi were diagnosed. Of the people interviewed, 74% worked either part-time or full-time exposed to sun and over 60% claimed to never use sunscreen.


This is a new and effective model for melanoma prevention and early diagnosis. In short, the melanoma prevention program is able to quickly identify suspicious lesions, leading to early diagnosis and better chances of survival.

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