Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Gloriastr. 31, CH-8091 Zurich, Switzerland, La Roche-Posay, Cosmétique Active, Industriestrasse 9, CH-5432 Neuenhof, Switzerland, Department of Dermatology, Kantonsspital Luzern, Spitalstr. 16, CH-6000 Luzerne, Switzerland, Department of Dermatology, Inselspital Bern, Freiburgstr. 14, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland, Dermatological Practice, Baselstr. 9, 4132 Muttenz, Switzerland, Dermatological Practice, Neubruchstr. 19, 7000 Chur, Switzerland, Dermatological Practice, Bälliz 75, 3600 Thun, Switzerland
Conventional skin cancer prevention programs appeal to limited populations, and the middle aged male population responds less frequently. Our objective was to establish a complementary health promotion campaign tool for skin cancer prevention. Internet-based education, instruction for self assessment and teledermatological evaluation of skin lesions by an expert commission of dermatologists was used. Compliance and clinical diagnosis was assessed in a subgroup. 12,000 users visited the educational website. There was strong interest among the middle aged male population (53% (N = 262): male; mean age: 42). 28.5% of examined lesions (N = 494) were considered suspicious. Email requests, sent to the group whose lesions where considered suspicious, were answered by 46.0% of females (N = 29) and 59.7% of males (N = 46) with a female distribution predominantly in younger ages (52.6% of females with known age: < 30 years). Males were predominantly represented over 30 years (86.2% of all males). According to user’s declarations, at least 8 (8.5%) malignant lesions (1 melanoma in situ, 1 squamous cell carcinoma, 4 basal cell carcinomas, 2 malignant lesions without declared diagnosis) were finally diagnosed by physicians. We conclude that internet-based, interactive, educational programs, in addition to existing health promotion campaigns, can enhance public participation in the middle aged male population in skin cancer prevention.