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New Studies Support Dermatologists' Recommendation: Self-Exams, Screenings Vital for Detecting Skin Cancer
Date:5/5/2008

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- When detected early, most skin cancers can be successfully treated. In fact, melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is highly curable when found and treated early. The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 99 percent. However, dermatologists caution that finding skin cancer in its earliest stages requires a commitment by individuals to perform regular skin self-examinations and to report any suspicious moles or unusual changes to their dermatologist immediately.

Now, new research shows that involving a partner in the self-examination process, particularly one with whom an individual has a good relationship, makes it more likely that self screening will happen and can improve the early detection of skin cancer which could lead to a better prognosis.

"The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) has been a leading advocate of the importance of skin self-exams and free community-based screening events as a means to detecting skin cancer," said dermatologist C. William Hanke, MD, MPH, FAAD, president of the Academy. "Since its inception in 1985, the Academy's National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Screening Program has screened more than 1.8 million people across the country and detected more than 180,170 suspicious lesions. This new research confirms what dermatologists have known for years -- early detection of skin cancer through self-exams and free screenings by dermatologists, whether conducted in the community or in the workplace, can save lives."

Partner-Assisted Skin Self-Exams

In an article entitled "Examination of mediating variables in a partner assistance intervention designed to increase performance of skin self-examination," published in the March 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologist June K. Robinson, MD, FAAD, professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern Univ
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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