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Childhood cancer survivors not likely to engage in practices that help screen for skin cancer

31 Aug 2019

Adult survivors of childhood cancers tend to not engage in strategies and practices that may facilitate the early detection of skin cancer, reports a recent study.

Researchers performed a cross-sectional analysis of 1,202 adults (median age at enrolment, 44 years; 47 percent male) who had survived childhood cancers. The primary study outcome was a four-level skin cancer practice indicator, determining whether the participants had undergone skin self-examination (SSE) or physician whole-body skin examination (PSE). Those with a history of skin cancers were ineligible.

A total of 709 participants had complete outcome information. Of these, 16.4 percent underwent an SSE only, 11.0 percent underwent PSE only and 13.1 percent received both examinations. More than half (59.5 percent) reported neither.

Females were significantly more likely than males to complete an SSE (adjusted relative risk ratio [aRRR], 1.72, 95 percent CI, 1.04–2.82), while those who were older (55 years; aRRR, 28.33, 3.7–217.15) and with a postgraduate degree (aRRR, 3.63, 1.24–10.66) were more likely to undergo PSE than their high-school counterparts.

Notably, those who had seen a dermatologist in the last 2 years were significantly more likely to complete PSE either alone (aRRR, 31.79, 15.43–65.5) or with SSE (aRRR, 24.91, 12.99–47.8). On the other hand, participants who never or almost never asked about cancer screening during routine health checks were less likely to undergo SSE alone (aRRR, 0.20, 0.09–0.42) or with PSE (aRRR, 0.06, 0.03–0.13).

“This report extends our knowledge of skin cancer screening practices of childhood cancer survivors by providing rates of SSE and factors associated with SSE plus PSE not previously known and identifies major gaps in screening that remain,” the researchers said.

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Natalia Reoutova, 4 days ago

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