Knowledge and practice patterns of health care practitioners
Since MM can develop in areas not exposed to the sun, health care practitioners
should routinely perform full skin exams. Increased awareness on the part
of health care providers encourages them to instruct their patients on
skin cancer awareness and prevention.
An informal survey conducted as part of the development of this action
plan was sent to 712 primary care physicians in Texas (response rate of
20%), with the following results:
more screening respondents did, the more skin cancer they found.
of respondents reported skin cancer screening was not emphasized in
their medical training.
barriers that prevented full-body screening were, in order of priority,
time, patient embarrassment, and reimbursement.
These results may
be compared with those reported in a Florida and Connecticut survey which
showed that 50% of respondents did no skin cancer screening at all, and
fewer than 30% of the respondents reported that skin cancer screening
was emphasized during their training. [
B. Current training
and continuing education curricula for health care providers
Curricula for the following health care practitioners should address skin
cancer awareness, prevention, and detection: physicians, nurse practitioners,
nurses, physician assistants, dentists, dental hygienists.
for skin cancer awareness and detection education
Education of health and beauty industry professionals
Members of public service occupations in fields such as cosmetology, etc.
are in an ideal situation to observe the skin of their clients over time.
Skin cancer awareness would enable them to assist their clients in recognizing
the need to seek medical advice for changing skin cancer lesions.