Melanoma/skin cancer screening in a Mediterranean country: results of the Euromelanoma Screening Day Campaign in Greece
Article first published online: 16 NOV 2006
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 56–62, January 2007
How to Cite
Stratigos, A., Nikolaou, V., Kedicoglou, S., Antoniou, C., Stefanaki, I., Haidemenos, G. and Katsambas, A. (2007), Melanoma/skin cancer screening in a Mediterranean country: results of the Euromelanoma Screening Day Campaign in Greece. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 21: 56–62. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2006.01865.x
- Issue published online: 16 NOV 2006
- Article first published online: 16 NOV 2006
- Received: 25 August 2005, accepted 19 December 2005; DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2006.01865.x
- malignant melanoma;
- media campaign;
- Mediterranean population;
- non-melanoma skin cancer;
- risk factors;
- ultraviolet radiation
Background Since the year 2000 a melanoma/skin cancer screening campaign has been organized annually in Greece in the context of the Euromelanoma Screening Day Campaign.
Objectives We aimed to analyse the characteristics of the screened population, to recognize relevant risk factors and to identify the cases of histologically confirmed malignant melanoma (MM) in individuals with suspicious skin lesions.
Methods An analysis of the completed screening forms from the years 2000–2004 was performed with respect to relevant demographic, epidemiological and clinical data.
Results A total of 9723 individuals were screened, most of whom where below the age of 50 years (71%), female (59%), and of skin phototype II and III (76%). Sunburn during childhood was reported in 47% of participants, while 5% of the screened population had a personal or family history of melanoma. On clinical examination, 14.4% had actinic keratoses, 31.2% had dysplastic nevi, while 6.4% carried a presumptive diagnosis of non-melanoma skin cancer. In the 2003–2004 screening campaign, 19 out of the 171 clinically suspicious lesions were histologically proven to be MM, the majority of which (58%) were ‘thin’ melanomas (Breslow's thickness of ≤ 1 mm) of the superficial spreading type.
Conclusions Our study suggested that, a melanoma/skin cancer screening programme in a Mediterranean country, supported by an intense publicity campaign, attracted many individuals at risk for skin cancer and detected mostly thin melanomas of the superficial spreading type.