(HealthDay News) — Lesion-directed screening (LDS) has a similar skin cancer detection rate as total-body examination (TBE) but is substantially less time-consuming, according to a study published online October 14 in JAMA Dermatology.
Isabelle Hoorens, MD, from University Hospital Ghent in Belgium, and colleagues compared LDS and TBE screening strategies. A team of six dermatologists arranged multiday screenings in two comparable communities.
The researchers found that of the 1,982 individuals screened, 47 skin cancers (2.4%) were histologically confirmed, including nine melanomas (0.5%), 37 basal cell carcinomas (1.9%), and one squamous cell carcinoma or Bowen disease (0.1%). The positive predictive value for all suspicious lesions was 56.6% (47 of 83), and the skin cancer detection rate per 100 participants did not differ significantly between the groups. Per 100 invitees, the operational effectiveness was 0.4% in the TBE group and 0.1% in the LDS group. LDS was 5.6 times less time-consuming than TBE.
“When performed by dermatologists, LDS is an acceptable alternative screening method in health care systems with limited budgets or long waiting lists,” conclude the authors.