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Skin Cancer Screening and Early Detection

Skin Cancer Screening and Early Detection

This position statement provides recommendations on self-examination, screening, and aids to clinical diagnosis of melanoma, for clinicians and the general public.

Based on current evidence, the Cancer Society does not recommend:

  • Population screening for skin cancers (melanoma or keratinocytic cancer).
  • Screening skin checks occurring outside clinical settings (such as at community events), as these can involve examination of single lesions without a full body examination and inadequate follow-up and referral
  • Smartphone applications by individuals to self-diagnose melanoma.

The Cancer Society of New Zealand recognises the value in activities that raise awareness of early detection and skin cancer prevention. Skin cancers are mostly preventable, yet New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. More investment is urgently needed in prevention and early detection measures as this will save lives, is cost effective and will significantly reduce demands on our health system.

To find out more download our full position statement: