Specialized Surveillance Clinic For Patients At High Risk of Melanoma Reduced Procedures and Costs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Caroline Watts| Research Fellow

Dr. Caroline Watts

Caroline Watts| Research Fellow
Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research
Sydney School of Public Health
The University of Sydney 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: A clinic for people at high risk of melanoma was established at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney in 2006 as part of a research project to look at the impact of surveillance regime which included regular full body skin examination supported by dermoscopy and total body photography at 6 monthly intervals. If a suspicious lesion was identified, the lesion was either removed or an image of the lesion was captured using digital dermoscopy and the patient returned in 3 months for review.

This study aimed to estimate the costs and benefits from a health system perspective associated with specialised surveillance compared with current routine care high risk people would receive in the community. 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The study found found that specialised surveillance was a cost-effective strategy for the management of individuals at high risk of melanoma. Melanomas were detected at an earlier stage and there were also fewer invasive procedures in specialised surveillance compared to routine care in the community.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Monitoring of suspicious nevi (moles) is time consuming for both patients at very high risk of melanoma and their clinicians, requires highly trained staff and specialised equipment. However, careful surveillance and a watch a wait approach results in both early detection of melanoma and less invasive procedures that delivers benefits for the patients and saves money over the long term.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Recommendations for future research include investigating how a specialised surveillance service could be scaled up and implemented to meet the needs of high risk patients at a state or national level.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation: 

Cost-Effectiveness of Skin Surveillance Through a Specialized Clinic for Patients at High Risk of Melanoma

Caroline G. Watts, Anne E. Cust, Scott W. Menzies, Graham J. Mann,and Rachael L. Morton

JCO JCO684308; published online on October 10, 201

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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