Early detection of skin cancers by screening could be very beneficial to decrease their morbidity or mortality. There is limited study about skin cancer screening in Iran.
This essay was planned as a pilot skin cancer screening campaign in Tehran, Iran to evaluate its profit and failure and further design large-scale screening program more definitely.
Thirty one public health centers of Shahid Beheshti Medical University were selected in different areas of Tehran. The project was announced via media and invited all the people above 40 years old to come for the whole-body skin examination in a one-week period. Patients with any suspected lesions were referred to the dermatology clinics of the university.
1314 patients, 194 males (14.8%) and 120 females (85.2%), with mean age of 51.81 ± 10.28 years participated in this screening campaign. Physicians found suspected lesions in 182 (13.85%) of participants. The diagnosis of skin cancer was confirmed in 15 (1.14%) patients. These malignancies included 10 (0.76%) cases of basal cell carcinoma, 2 (0.15%) cases of squamous cell carcinoma and 3 (0.23%) cases of malignant melanoma.
Skin cancer screening seems to be valuable to detect skin malignancies in their early course. Regarding the considerable amount of facilities needed to perform skin cancer screening program, it might be more beneficial to perform the targeted screening programs for the high-risk groups or emphasis more on public education of skin cancer risk factors and their early signs.