Content » Vol 71, Issue 4

Screening for skin cancer in The Netherlands.

Krol S, Keijser LM, van der Rhee HJ, Welvaart K
DOI: 10.2340/0001555571317321


In the summer of 1989 a screening campaign for skin cancer was organized along part of the beach in the western region of The Netherlands, using a mobile trailer. On 4 consecutive Saturdays, 3,069 individuals were examined. A total of 65 individuals with a suspected lesion were found and referred to their general practitioner. The compliance with referral was 80%. Histological reports, obtained from 46 suspected lesions, showed: 6 melanomas (all with a thickness less than 1 mm), 2 squamous cell carcinomas, 23 basal cell carcinomas, 5 dysplastic naevi and 10 benign skin lesions. The positive predictive value of the visual examination appeared to be 83%. The campaign attracted much publicity. The effects of this publicity were measured by a questionnaire sent to all general practitioners and dermatologists in the region. It appeared that during the campaign and in the ensuing 2 months there had been an increase in the number of diagnoses of benign skin lesions and a moderate increase in the diagnoses of malignant lesions.


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