Validation of the Self-Assessment of Melanoma Risk Score for a melanoma-targeted screening

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2012 Nov;21(6):588-95. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e328353ed68.


Melanoma is nowadays a major public health problem because of its increasing incidence. Targeted screening for patients at a high risk for melanoma is being promoted. The aim of our study was to assess the effectiveness of a targeted screening on the basis of the self-selection of high-risk individuals with the Self-Assessment of Melanoma Risk Score (SAMScore). Our main objective was to prove that this score allows the selection of a group of patients who are at a higher risk and in whom more melanomas may be detected. This prospective study was carried out in France in 2009. Consecutive patients, while visiting their doctor's office, filled out a melanoma risk factor questionnaire. Patients were assessed as being at high risk or not according to the SAMScore, and patients at a high risk were examined both by their general practitioner and by a dermatologist. The efficiency of the selection tool corresponded to the ratio of the prevalence of melanoma in a population selected with the SAMScore to the prevalence in the general population. A logistic model with a random effect was used. A total of 7977 patients filled out the questionnaire. Among the 2404 patients at high risk, histologically proven melanoma was screened in 10 cases: two in-situ and eight invasive melanomas. The SAMScore efficiency assessed was equal to 11.54 (P=0.0016). In conclusion, in this strategy, to detect a new case of melanoma, it is necessary to screen 11 times fewer patients than with a nontargeted screening. This is the first study to confirm the efficiency of a targeted screening on the basis of self-selection of high-risk individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Melanoma / prevention & control
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult