HealthDay News — The incidence of skin cancer is similar for patients evaluated by store-and-forward (SAF) teledermatology or face-to-face (F2F) consultation, according to a study published online in the International Journal of Dermatology.

Malcolm Creighton-Smith, MD, from the Tufts Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study involving 434 SAF teledermatology patients and a subset of 587 randomly selected patients with F2F consultations.

The researchers found that a higher proportion of F2F patients had prior history of skin cancer (22% vs 10%) and received biopsies (27.2% vs 11.5%; both P <.001). No significant differences were seen between the groups in the detection rates of any skin cancer (9.5% for the F2F group vs 5.8% for the teledermatology group; P =.3), melanoma (0.6% vs 0%; P = N/A), or keratinocytic carcinoma (8.5% vs 5.5%; P =.7) after adjustment for age, immunosuppression, and personal and family history of skin cancer. 

In addition, the groups were similar in terms of pre-post biopsy perfect diagnostic concordance, time from initial biopsy request to biopsy (45.5 vs 47.3 days; P =.8), and time from biopsy to definitive treatment (67.5 vs 65.4 days; P =.8).


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“When adjusted for presence of skin cancer risk factors, incidence of detected melanoma, keratinocytic carcinoma, and any skin cancer was similar between SAF teledermatology and F2F patients,” the authors write.

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Reference

Creighton-Smith M, Murgia RD 3rd, Konnikov N, Dornelles A, Garber C, Nguyen BT. Incidence of melanoma and keratinocytic carcinomas in patients evaluated by store-and-forward teledermatology vs. dermatology clinic [published online June 20, 2017]. Int J Dermatol. doi:10.1111/ijd.13672