Can People Correctly Assess their Future Risk of Melanoma?

  • Author Footnotes
    3 These authors contributed equally to this work.
    Catherine M. Olsen
    Footnotes
    3 These authors contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Department of Population Health, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    3 These authors contributed equally to this work.
    Nirmala Pandeya
    Footnotes
    3 These authors contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Department of Population Health, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia
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  • Jean Claude Dusingize
    Affiliations
    Department of Population Health, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Bridie S. Thompson
    Affiliations
    Department of Population Health, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • David C. Whiteman
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author
    Affiliations
    Department of Population Health, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia
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  • for theQSkin Study
  • Author Footnotes
    3 These authors contributed equally to this work.
Published:September 11, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2020.07.018
      Prospectively identifying people at increased risk for melanoma is a key prerequisite to designing interventions aiming to detect melanoma early when treatment has a high probability of being curative. Whereas population-based screening for melanoma is not recommended because there is no evidence that it decreases mortality (
      • Wernli K.J.
      • Henrikson N.B.
      • Morrison C.C.
      • Nguyen M.
      • Pocobelli G.
      • Blasi P.R.
      Screening for skin cancer in adults: updated evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force.
      ), medical authorities in the United States, Australia, and elsewhere advocate targeted screening of people at a high risk. What is unknown, however, is whether people can accurately assess their own personal risk of developing melanoma. Self assessments in European populations have been shown to be only moderately accurate in identifying people at a high risk, correlating poorly with dermatologists’ evaluations on melanoma risk factors (
      • Carli P.
      • De Giorgi V.
      • Palli D.
      • Maurichi A.
      • Mulas P.
      • Orlandi C.
      • et al.
      Dermatologist detection and skin self-examination are associated with thinner melanomas: results from a survey of the Italian Multidisciplinary Group on Melanoma.
      ;
      • Harbauer A.
      • Binder M.
      • Pehamberger H.
      • Wolff K.
      • Kittler H.
      Validity of an unsupervised self-administered questionnaire for self-assessment of melanoma risk.
      ;
      • Richtig E.
      • Santigli E.
      • Fink-Puches R.
      • Weger W.
      • Hofmann-Wellenhof R.
      Assessing melanoma risk factors: how closely do patients and doctors agree?.
      ). Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that people are not confident in assessing their future risk of melanoma and can be reluctant to seek advice from their treating doctors (
      • Eiser J.R.
      • Pendry L.
      • Greaves C.J.
      • Melia J.
      • Harland C.
      • Moss S.
      Is targeted early detection for melanoma feasible? Self assessments of risk and attitudes to screening.
      ).

      Abbreviations:

      CI ( confidence interval), RR ( risk ratio)
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      References

      1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Census. Community profiles, https://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/home/communityprofiles?opendocument&navpos=230; 2016 (accessed 16 March 2020).

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