Google Play icon

When it comes to skin cancer, pictures are worth a thousand words

Share
Posted August 3, 2013

A cancerous mole. Image courtesy of the American Academy of DermatologySeeing pictures of skin cancer motivates people to regularly check their own moles, according to a new research paper from the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. 

The paper, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that visual images of skin cancer are most effective in prompting skin self-examinations.

“Visual images capture our attention and are persuasive. They also help us to learn and remember,” said Professor Laurie Hoffman-Goetz, of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and co-author on the paper.

The systematic review found that exposure to images of skin cancer motivated people to check their skin more frequently and accurately. The study found that providing text descriptions alone were not effective in aiding skin self-examination.

“Images motivate health behaviours in ways text does not,” said Jennifer McWhirter, a PhD candidate funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and co-author on the paper.

The paper’s findings could help inform patient education strategies and public health communication efforts.

“Skin self-examination plays an important role in detecting melanoma early. Many cases of melanoma are first detected by patients themselves,” said McWhirter.

“Incorporating images into clinical practice when educating patients can be a powerful tool in the fight against skin cancer.” said Professor Hoffman-Goetz.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in North America. In Canada, there are expected to be 6,000 new cases of melanoma–the most dangerous kind of skin cancer – and more than 81,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer this year alone.

https://uwaterloo.ca/news/sites/ca.news/files/styles/body-500px-wide/public/uploads/images/20130722%20-%20Skin%20Cancer2.jpeg

Information on the early detection of skin cancer, including skin self-examination with example images, can be accessed through the American Academy of Dermatology website.

Source: University of Waterloo

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
85,381 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. New treatment may reverse celiac disease (October 22, 2019)
  2. "Helical Engine" Proposed by NASA Engineer could Reach 99% the Speed of Light. But could it, really? (October 17, 2019)
  3. New Class of Painkillers Offers all the Benefits of Opioids, Minus the Side Effects and Addictiveness (October 16, 2019)
  4. The World's Energy Storage Powerhouse (November 1, 2019)
  5. Plastic waste may be headed for the microwave (October 18, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email