[9 min read] Concordance between patient concerns and skin cancer diagnosis

This month’s research article caught my eye because it is such a simple, yet useful and relevant study. From a single practice in Brisbane, the paper reports on the agreement or not between lesions of concern to a patient, and those identified by the dermatologist, upon examination. 

Interestingly, there was very low levels of concordance or agreement between a patient’s concern, and what the examining doctor found!

I think this supports a couple of key themes that are useful reminders.

First “take a careful history, and then disregard it”. Of course, what we really mean here is “take a careful history, take it seriously, but also assume nothing and examine the patient carefully”.

Second, every patient needs, and deserves, a full skin examination, because the patient is usually unaware of suspicious lesions, and many such lesions are found on careful medical examination.

The paper is linked here.

Prof David Wilkinson


Skin Cancer Certificate Courses in Australia

Read more from Professor David Wilkinson on recent research:

2 comments on “[9 min read] Concordance between patient concerns and skin cancer diagnosis

  1. Yes, I am always amazed how a patient can have many SebK and be concerned about one that looks the same as the rest and not the slightest bit worried about an obvious BCC on their face

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