The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

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July - September 2013, Volume 9, Issue 3
Endocrine Care

Popescu I, Turcu G., Ghervase L., Giurcaneanu C., Forsea A.M.

Gender-Related Differences in the Practices and Attitudes of Early Detection in Rumanian Skin Cancer Patients

Acta Endo (Buc) 2013, 9 (3): 419-428
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2013.419

Context. Advanced skin cancers have high mortality and morbidity, and early detection is crucial for prognosis. Information regarding the patterns of skin self-examination and tumor early detection in the Central and Eastern Europe is scarce. Objective. Analyze the gender differences in the practices and attitudes related to skin cancer early detection of skin cancer patients in Romania. Methods. Prospective questionnaire- based survey of patients with confirmed diagnosis of skin cancer, registered in a university reference center for dermatooncology between 2011-2012. Results. 122 skin cancer patients completed the survey (response rate 72%). Female skin cancer patients reported lower level of education and likelihood to receive a medical full skin examination. Women were more likely to check their own skin and to detect suspicious lesions on themselves and their partners than men. They delayed longer the presentation to a physician after noticing a suspicious lesion (11.4 months vs. 6.4 months median). 90.76% of all skin cancer patients were not warned by any doctor about their skin cancer risk; 30% of them never check their skin. Conclusions. Women tend to be more concerned about their skin than men, but receive less medical attention and delay longer the diagnosis. Our study also signaled an urgent need of improving the patients and physicians education for skin cancer early detection in Romania.

Keywords: gender, skin cancer, early detection, prognosis.

Correspondence: Dr. Ioana Popescu, Elias University Emergency Hospital, Dermatology, 17 Marasti Blvd, Bucharest, 011461, Romania, E-mail: