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Melanoma Education Protects Patients' Siblings

Posted: July 12, 2006

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"Of course, we don't yet have any direct proof that skin self-examination will prevent mortality," said Berwick, who is also associate director for population science for the Cancer Research and Treatment Center at the university center. "But it's something that we think might help. So, my view is that this finding will be a valuable building-block in helping to direct a cancer-education message that will get people to engage in efforts that could be helpful in the long-run."

A second study, also published in the August issue of Cancer, further explored the potential benefits of melanoma education interventions.

A team of Australian researchers found that men over the age of 50 are more likely to get screened for the disease if they are fully informed about major risk factors and are encouraged by their doctor.

The authors, led by Joanne Aitken of the Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control at the Queensland Cancer Fund in Brisbane, focused on the screening habits of 3,355 men over the age of 50 who were exposed to a melanoma education effort targeted at people over the age of 30.

Although the intervention boosted screening generally, clinic data revealed that the strongest rise occurred among men over 50.