Targeting skin cancer relatives improves screening says study

In collaboration with the Press Association

A US study of relatives of skin cancer patients has shown that targeting information at high-risk groups can significantly improve screening rates.

Risks of contracting malignant melanoma ? the most lethal form of skin cancer ? are between two and eight times higher for first-degree relatives of those with the disease.

Many are unaware of their heightened risks however, and rates of professional screening and self-examination remain low.

The study found that they were able to significantly improve the numbers of those performing self examinations by supplying some basic risk information and a free screening exam.

The results "may provide a useful foundation for future efforts to target the more than half million siblings at risk for melanoma," concluded the authors.

The study was conducted by the Boston University School of Medicine and published in the US journal Cancer.

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