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Publication Abstract

Authors: Coups EJ, Geller AC, Weinstock MA, Heckman CJ, Manne SL

Title: Prevalence and correlates of skin cancer screening among middle-aged and older white adults in the United States.

Journal: Am J Med 123(5):439-45

Date: 2010 May

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Total skin examinations performed by a physician have the potential to identify skin cancers at an early stage, when they are most amenable to successful treatment. This study examined the prevalence rates of, and factors associated with, receipt of a total skin examination by a dermatologist or other doctor during the past year. METHODS: The participants were 10,486 white men and women aged 50 years and older drawn from a random sample of 31,428 adults aged 18 years and older who took part in the 2005 National Health Interview Survey. The data were collected via in-person interviews, and participants answered questions about their receipt of total skin examinations, their demographic characteristics, health and health care access, receipt of other cancer screenings, and personal and family history of skin cancer. RESULTS: Sixteen percent of men and 13% of women reported having a skin examination in the past year. The factors associated with lowest skin examination rates in multivariable analyses included younger age (50-64 years), lower education level, lack of screening for colorectal, breast (women only), and prostate cancers (men only), and lack of a personal history of skin cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Rates of having a skin examination in the past year were low among men and women and among all sub-groups. Systematic efforts are needed to increase screening rates among higher risk individuals. Physicians should be particularly aware of the need to consider skin cancer screening examinations for their male, elderly patients, as well as individuals with less education.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013