Skin cancer day in Italy: method of referral to open access clinics and tumor prevalence in the examined population

Ketty Peris, P Carli, V De Giorgi, B Giannotti, S Seidenari, G Pellacani, D Piccolo, P Rubegni, L. Andreassi

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Education campaigns to encourage self-examination coupled with rapid access to specialized dermatological clinics is considered the key strategy in the realization of early detection of cutaneous melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). An alternative to an initial visit to the family doctor is open access to a skin cancer clinic at the decision of the individual. This approach has been followed mainly in countries with high melanoma incidence where the majority of the population is of northern European origin. However, the efficacy of this system has not been well established because there are few studies involving systematic follow up of individuals with positive screening through pathological confirmation of the diagnosis. We report the follow up data focussed on melanoma and NMSC detection rates in more than 1,000 subjects examined at numerous 1-day, open access clinics on the occasion of the Italian nation-wide "Skin Cancer Day" campaign promoted by the Federation of Italian Dermatological Societies. Total body skin examination was performed on all subjects, and surgical excision of a lesion was recommended in 41 of the 1042 subjects (3.9 %). Histologic diagnosis, available for 39/41 lesions, evidenced 3 superficial spreading melanomas (1 in situ, one "thin" lesion, ie. 0.30 mm in thickness, and one "thick" lesion, with a thickness of 4.53 mm) and 6 NMSC (5 BCC and 1 SCC). Thus, the prevalence of skin cancer (melanoma and NMSC) in this group was 0.8 % (9/1042), and the prevalence of melanoma was 3/1042, 0.2 %, rather similar to that found in populations of northern European origin. Open access to skin cancer clinics may represent an alternative approach to melanoma prevention also in southern European populations. Increased public awareness regarding skin cancer probably represents the main effect of this type of campaign.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-79
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Dermatology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Dermatology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Melanoma
  • Prevalence
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms


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