The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.
Patient Perceptions of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer before Diagnosis
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2013
© 2013 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 39, Issue 10, pages 1496–1501, October 2013
How to Cite
Yancovitz, M., Rizzo, C., Julian, P., Oliveria, S. A. and Becker, D. (2013), Patient Perceptions of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer before Diagnosis. Dermatologic Surgery, 39: 1496–1501. doi: 10.1111/dsu.12311
- Issue published online: 1 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 24 SEP 2013
There is a paucity of data regarding patient perceptions of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC).
To describe patients' perceptions of skin lesions before a diagnosis of NMSC.
This was a descriptive study in a private practice setting. Patients with a previous biopsy of NMSC who presented for treatment were eligible. A self-administered questionnaire assessed what patient perceptions of lesions diagnosed as NMSCs had been before they were aware of the diagnosis. Medical records were reviewed for tumor type, size, and location.
One hundred sixty-three consecutive patients undergoing treatment for NMSC completed the questionnaire. The most common initial impressions of the lesion were skin cancer (20%), acne (19%), sore (10%), unknown (9%), dry skin (7%), age spot (6%), and injury (6%). Seventy-two percent of patients were the first to notice the lesion. Patients with a history of skin cancer were more likely to think the lesion was a skin cancer on initial impression (28% vs 8%) (p < .001).
Understanding how patients perceive their skin cancers may aid in targeting educational strategies and increase awareness of skin cancer risk. Our data suggest that there are important subtleties in self-identification that may need to be taken into consideration in any educational campaign targeting NMSC.