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Cancer Control Research

Gilchrest, Barbara A.


DESCRIPTION: With low cost screening and preventive procedures readily available, no one should die of cutaneous melanoma. Promoting melanoma control for at risk populations through regular skin cancer screening and sun protection practices should counter this modern cancer epidemic. Siblings (and other first-degree relatives) of melanoma patients have a two - eight fold elevated relative risk of developing melanoma themselves but have suboptimal knowledge of their risk and limited practice of screening and prevention measures. To date, no intervention protocols have targeted this high risk sibling group, a population estimated to be up to three-quarters million or more Americans. The investigators propose a randomized trial testing personalized telephone counseling intervention support and screening (PERTCISS) that delivers melanoma risk information to siblings and promotes screening and prevention practices. They propose to intervene at a time of a new diagnosis of melanoma in a family member, capitalizing on this teachable moment to reach siblings. They will randomize 450 adult siblings (New England residents) of newly diagnosed melanoma patients to PERTCISS or standard care (SC). The specific aims are to determine, in siblings, the impact of PERTCISS compared to SC on melanoma screening and prevention practices, as well as the knowledge and attitudes that mediate and motivate these practices. They hypothesize that, compared to those in SC, siblings randomized to PERTCISS will demonstrate: 1) Higher levels of three practices: a) physician skin cancer screening examinations, b) skin self-examination for melanoma, c) sun protection practices; and 2) Higher levels of knowledge about melanoma risk and improved attitudes about early detection and prevention.

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