(HealthDay)—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 June 20 in the International Journal of Dermatology.
Malcolm Creighton-Smith, M.D., 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 versus 10 percent) and received biopsies (27.2 versus 11.5 percent; both P < 0.001). No significant differences were seen between the groups in the detection rates of any skin cancer (9.5 for the F2F group versus 5.8 percent for the teledermatology group; P = 0.3), melanoma (0.6 versus 0 percent; P = N/A), or keratinocytic carcinoma (8.5 versus 5.5 percent; P = 0.7) 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 versus 47.3 days; P = 0.8), and time from biopsy to definitive treatment (67.5 versus 65.4 days; P = 0.8).
"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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