Home Dermatology Teaming With a Partner Ups Efficacy of Melanoma Self-Exams

Teaming With a Partner Ups Efficacy of Melanoma Self-Exams

Melanoma survivors benefited when they and a partner were trained in spotting malignancies

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Enlisting a partner to assist with skin checks can improve the detection of cancer recurrence for melanoma patients, according to research published online June 29 in JAMA Dermatology.

June Robinson, M.D., a professor of dermatology at Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues assigned 494 melanoma patients and their partners to one of two groups: standard care or special training in skin self-examination. The training was provided either in person, in a workbook, or on a tablet. Training included how to recognize changes in the border, color, and diameter of moles.

During two years of follow-up, 66 of the patients did go on to develop a new melanoma. However, 43 of those melanomas were spotted by the patient-partner pairs in the skin self-examination training group, compared to zero among the patient-partner pairs who hadn’t received the training.

“‘Skin check partners’ can help melanoma patients see areas they cannot easily see by themselves, and assist in making a decision about whether the mole changed and they need to see the doctor,” Robinson told HealthDay.

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