Pictures May Help Encourage Skin Cancer Self-Exams08/09/13
FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Pictures can make a strong
impression: People who see images of skin cancer are more likely to
do skin examinations, according to a new study.
An evidence review concluded that people who saw pictures of
skin cancer were motivated to check their skin more often and
accurately. Text descriptions of skin cancer alone were not
effective in promoting skin self-examination.
The study was published in the July issue of the
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
"Visual images capture our attention and are persuasive. They also help us to learn and remember," study co-author Laurie Hoffman-Goetz, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said in a university news release.
The findings could help improve early detection of skin cancer,
including deadly melanoma.
"Skin self-examination plays an important role in detecting melanoma early. Many cases of melanoma are first detected by patients themselves," study co-author Jennifer McWhirter, a Ph.D. candidate, said in the news release.
"Incorporating images into clinical practice when educating patients can be a powerful tool in the fight against skin cancer," Hoffman-Goetz added.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in North America,
the authors noted in the news release.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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