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[9 min read] Concordance between patient concerns and skin cancer diagnosis
This month’s research article caught my eye because it is such a simple, yet useful and relevant study. From a single practice in Brisbane, the paper reports on the agreement or not between lesions of concern to a patient, and those identified by the dermatologist, upon examination.
Interestingly, there was very low levels of concordance or agreement between a patient’s concern, and what the examining doctor found!
I think this supports a couple of key themes that are useful reminders.
First “take a careful history, and then disregard it”. Of course, what we really mean here is “take a careful history, take it seriously, but also assume nothing and examine the patient carefully”.
Second, every patient needs, and deserves, a full skin examination, because the patient is usually unaware of suspicious lesions, and many such lesions are found on careful medical examination.
The paper is linked here.
Prof David Wilkinson