A new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology indicates that personalised melanoma genomic risk information can prompt discussions about skin cancer prevention and skin examinations with family and health professionals.
The study included 103 participants, aged 21–69 years and 53% female, without a personal history and or family history of melanoma. The participants completed questionnaires 3 months after receiving a melanoma genomic risk assessment. Interviews were undertaken with 30 participants in high, average and low genomic risk categories.
After participants received a booklet explaining their estimated genomic risk based on salivary DNA testing, 74% discussed their information with relatives and 49% discussed it with friends. A smaller proportion discussed their data with health professionals, and that number was greater for individuals with high genetic risk (41%) than average (16%) or low risk (12%).
"Sharing this information with others might increase its impact on melanoma prevention and skin examination behaviours, and this process could be used to encourage healthy behaviour change within families," wrote the authors of the study, which was published with an accompanying editorial.