Introduction Skin cancers, in particular squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, are the most frequent malignancies in organ transplant recipients (OTR). However, it is unclear if specialist OTR dermatology clinics increase the knowledge and attitude towards ultraviolet protection.
Methods Using the same questionnaire on skin cancer awareness, history of ultraviolet exposure and use of protection measures before and after transplantation we compared two centres with a dedicated dermatology clinic (London) and with a fortnightly OTR dermatology clinic attended only by patients referred by the renal team (Oxford).
Results Overall, 288 and 274 Caucasian transplant patients from Bart's and the London NHS trust and from Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals were recruited, respectively. As expected, 57% of OTR patients in Oxford had never seen a dermatologist compared to 17% in London (p<0.0001). Overall, OTR patients from Oxford where no dedicated skin clinic is available reported significantly (p<0.05) higher UV exposure, lower compliance to sunscreen use and lower knowledge on skin cancer than OTR patients from London where this facility is provided.
Conclusions We found that dedicated OTR dermatology clinic improve substantially skin cancer awareness and photoprotective measures. However, this study could not estimate the impact of these clinics on skin cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality.
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