Photography as an aid to early detection of melanoma in older males by general practitioners
Professor Peter Hersey, Dr Scott Menzies, Associate Professor Catherine D'Este, Dr Anthony Plummer
This study is a randomised trial to evaluate whether skin photographs of men aged over 50 can aid early detection of melanoma in older males, the population group with the highest incidence of advanced melanoma. Males aged over 50 were identified from the electoral role and invited by mail to participate in the study. Respondents completed a questionnaire on demographic characteristics and melanoma risk factors, had photographs taken of head and neck, trunk and arms by a trained photographer and were randomised to receive their photographs initially or after two years. Participants were requested to visit their general practitioner at 12 and 24 months after recruitment and those initially given their photographs were asked to show these to their general practitioner during the check-up consultation. Outcomes include the number of GP visits and the number of benign and malignant lesions excised in each group. Assessment has been made of the number of participants retaining photographs as well as the feasibility of the recruitment strategy. Data collection and analysis has been completed and a journal article reporting on the study results about to be submitted.