Participation in annual skin cancer screening among women seeking routine mammography

Prev Med. 2004 Jun;38(6):704-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.01.017.


Background: Early detection of skin cancer is associated with improved prognosis. The American Cancer Society's current skin cancer screening (SCS) recommendation states that adults over the age of 40 should receive an annual skin examination conducted by a health professional. However, little is known about the psychosocial factors related to participation in annual SCS, which remains relatively low among the general public.

Methods: Data were collected from women, aged 50 and older, seeking routine mammography at a large, urban, breast diagnostic facility.

Results: A total of 253 eligible women completed the survey. Overall, 20.2% of women reported receiving annual clinical SCS. Physician recommendation, self-efficacy, perceived susceptibility, and age were significantly associated with participation in annual skin screening.

Conclusions: Similar to previously reported findings in the literature, our rates of participation in annual clinical skin screening were lower than reported rates for other types of cancer screening. Among older women, multiple covariates for participation in annual skin cancer screening were determined and may serve to guide future health education interventions to promote screening. Our findings suggest that participation could improve through increasing physician recommendation, screening self-efficacy, and individuals' sense of perceived susceptibility to skin cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography
  • Middle Aged
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Social Class