Delayed treatment and tumour growth

Non-melanoma skin cancer is common and easily treated, but if left untreated, it can become harmful

In this study, researchers investigated the reasons why patients delay presentation for diagnosis and treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer. This prospective cohort study included 982 patients presenting for Moh’s micrographic surgery in private practice.

Patients completed a 4-page questionnaire detailing their reasons for delay in presentation, among other personal information. Denial was the most frequent reason for delayed presentation (71% of patients).

Patients aged over 64 years, patients with a history of any cancer including skin cancer and patients with major life problems were most likely to wait before presenting. Increased delay was associated with increase in tumour size.
Alam M, Goldberg LH, Silapunt S et al. J Am Acad Dermatol 2010

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