Skip to content

    Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Pictures May Help Encourage Skin Cancer Self-Exams

    Study found images more motivating than text descriptions alone

    WebMD News from HealthDay

    By Robert Preidt

    HealthDay Reporter

    FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Pictures can make a strong impression: People who see images of skin cancer are more likely to do skin examinations, according to a new study.

    An evidence review concluded that people who saw pictures of skin cancer were motivated to check their skin more often and accurately. Text descriptions of skin cancer alone were not effective in promoting skin self-examination.

    The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

    "Visual images capture our attention and are persuasive. They also help us to learn and remember," study co-author Laurie Hoffman-Goetz, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said in a university news release.

    The findings could help improve early detection of skin cancer, including deadly melanoma.

    "Skin self-examination plays an important role in detecting melanoma early. Many cases of melanoma are first detected by patients themselves," study co-author Jennifer McWhirter, a Ph.D. candidate, said in the news release.

    "Incorporating images into clinical practice when educating patients can be a powerful tool in the fight against skin cancer," Hoffman-Goetz added.

    Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in North America, the authors noted in the news release.

    Today on WebMD

    Malignant melanoma
    How to spot it early.
    Woman checking out tan lines
    There’s a dark side to that strive for beauty.
     
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
     
    12 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Melanoma
    ARTICLE
    precancerous lesions slideshow
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Do You Know Your Melanoma ABCs
    VIDEO
    15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
    ARTICLE
     
    screening tests for men
    SLIDESHOW
    Vitamin D
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Is That Mole Skin Cancer
    VIDEO
    Brilliant sun rays
    Quiz