Background: In the summer of 2004-2005, The Cancer Council NSW conducted a skin cancer early detection campaign encouraging people aged over 50 years to check their own skin and see a doctor as soon as possible if they noticed any suspicious or changing spots.
Method: Self administered questionnaires were posted to 1136 general practitioners in New South Wales to seek information on the impact of the campaign and their interest in further training.
Results: The questionnaire was completed by 311 GPs (27%). General practitioners reported increased activity in skin cancer detection, however these increases were higher in the younger patient age groups. More than two-thirds of practitioners, especially those from skin cancer clinics, expressed interest in further training.
Discussion: Respondents found the campaign resources useful. General practitioners reported greater increases in the number of younger people requesting skin cancer checks compared to the targeted group of people aged over 50 years. The survey shows a clear trend of GPs aged 60 years and over reporting higher levels of attendance of skin cancer patients among older age groups.