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AAD’s Skin Cancer Screening Program Assessed

J Am Acad Dermatol; ePub 2018 Jul 26; Okhovat, et al

The SPOTme Skin Cancer Screening Program, the America Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD's) longest-standing public health program, has detected thousands of skin cancers that may have gone undetected or experienced a delay in detection. This according to an investigation that aimed to assess SPOTme from 1986 to 2014 by analyzing the risk factor profile, access to dermatologic services, and examination results. From 1986 to 2014, records were available for 2,046,531 screenings, 1,963,141 (96%) of which were subjected to detailed analysis. Researchers conducted several detailed statistical analyses of the screening population and found:

  • Men comprised 38% of all participants.
  • The number of annual screenings reached approximately 100,000 in 1990 and remained relatively stable thereafter.
  • From 1991 to 2014 (data for 1995, 1996, and 2000 were unavailable), clinical diagnoses were rendered for 20,628 melanomas, 156,087 dysplastic nevi, 32,893 squamous cell carcinomas, and 129,848 basal cell carcinomas.
  • Only 21% of those screened had a regular dermatologist.
  • Those with a clinical diagnosis of skin cancer were more likely than the general screening population to be uninsured.


Okhovat J-P, Beaulieu D, Tsao H, et al. The first 30 years of the American Academy of Dermatology skin cancer screening program: 1985-2014. [Published online ahead of print July 26, 2018]. J Am Acad Dermatol. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.05.1242.