Patient Interest in Melanoma Genetic Risk Testing is Fairly High

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Moderately high levels of MC1R test interest were observed in the study sample.
Moderately high levels of MC1R test interest were observed in the study sample.

(HealthDay News) -- There is moderately high interest in genetic testing for melanoma risk among the general population, according to a study published in the June issue of JAMA Dermatology.

Jennifer L. Hay, Ph.D., from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues examined interest in and uptake of MC1R testing in the general population and assessed patterns across demographic and skin cancer risk factors. Patients were randomized to either usual-care condition (National Cancer Institute skin cancer pamphlet for diverse skin types) or an MC1R test offer (following three web-based educational modules presenting the rationale, benefits, and drawbacks of MC1R testing).

The researchers found that 232 of the 499 participants randomized to MC1R testing logged on to the website, and of these, 88 percent (204 participants) requested testing and 82 percent (167 participants) returned the test kit. Race/ethnicity and education were the strongest predictors of logging on to the website (odds ratio for Hispanics versus non-Hispanic whites, 0.5; odds ratio for more than high school education versus high school or less, 2.7). Sunburn history was the strongest predictor of ordering the test (odds ratio, 5.4, versus no sunburn history).

"There were moderately high levels of MC1R test interest and uptake in this diverse sample," the authors write. "Addressing potential barriers to testing may be warranted as genomic information becomes integrated into general population approaches to the precision prevention of skin cancer."

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