We conducted a survey of persons who voluntarily attended melanoma/skin cancer screenings in Massachusetts in 1987. Of 1219 persons asked to fill out a questionnaire, 1116 (92%) completed it. Our study demonstrates that persons attending the melanoma/skin cancer screening program were, for the most part, at risk for the disease and appropriately selected themselves to be screened. Most were women, well educated (with college or advanced degrees), and white. More than 86% had at least one risk factor for melanoma/skin cancer whereas 78% had at least two risk factors. Future studies are necessary to determine whether our experience can be verified. Additional efforts should try to attract those who are at risk but perhaps are less willing to attend screening programs—men and those of lower socioeconomic status. These efforts can help target screening to those at highest risk and maximize the yield of these public health efforts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas