Early detection of melanoma: An educational campaign in Padova, Italy

C. R. Rossi, A. Vecchiato, G. Bezze, G. Mastrangelo, M. C. Montesco, S. Mocellin, G. Meneghetti, F. Mazzoleni, A. Peserico, D. Nitti, M. Lise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To evaluate a public campaign for the early referral and treatment of cutaneous melanoma, an educational programme based on self-selection by subjects was organized in Padova, Italy in 1991. In the period from 1991 to 1996, 90,000 leaflets containing information on naevi, melanoma and skin self-examination were mailed to each household, reaching a population of 243,000 subjects. A total of 2050 individuals requested a skin check as a result of the leaflet. Most were at low risk, the majority being female (68%) and aged under 40 years (51.6%), with no risk factors (58.3%). One hundred and ninety subjects were referred for surgery for pigmented and non-pigmented suspect lesions. Histological diagnoses, obtained for all lesions, comprised 13 melanomas, 17 dysplastic naevi, 17 basocellular carcinomas, 140 pigmented benign lesions and three lesions of other types. The percentage of thin melanomas (<1.50 mm) was 92.3%. Three hundred and fifty patients considered at risk at the first skin examination attended regular follow-up examinations. The sensitivity and predictive positive value of the visual examination were 92.8% and 6.8%, respectively. The impact of this campaign was evaluated in the Local Health District of Padova, comparing data from the pre-campaign period (1987-1990) with those from the campaign period (1991- 1996); a trend towards a lower stage was observed (mean thickness 2.0 mm versus 1.50 mm; P <0.02). (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Cutaneous melanoma
  • Early diagnosis
  • Educational campaign
  • Screening programme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Dermatology


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