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      Screening for skin cancer in The Netherlands.

      Acta dermato-venereologica

      prevention & control, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Carcinoma, Basal Cell, Child, Child, Preschool, Evaluation Studies as Topic, Female, Health Education, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Mass Screening, methods, standards, Melanoma, Middle Aged, Mobile Health Units, Netherlands, Physical Examination, Predictive Value of Tests, Skin Neoplasms

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          In the summer of 1989 a screening campaign for skin cancer was organized along part of the beach in the western region of The Netherlands, using a mobile trailer. On 4 consecutive Saturdays, 3,069 individuals were examined. A total of 65 individuals with a suspected lesion were found and referred to their general practitioner. The compliance with referral was 80%. Histological reports, obtained from 46 suspected lesions, showed: 6 melanomas (all with a thickness less than 1 mm), 2 squamous cell carcinomas, 23 basal cell carcinomas, 5 dysplastic naevi and 10 benign skin lesions. The positive predictive value of the visual examination appeared to be 83%. The campaign attracted much publicity. The effects of this publicity were measured by a questionnaire sent to all general practitioners and dermatologists in the region. It appeared that during the campaign and in the ensuing 2 months there had been an increase in the number of diagnoses of benign skin lesions and a moderate increase in the diagnoses of malignant lesions.

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