The most common skin neoplasms are carcinoma: basocellulare, spinocellulare, planoepitheliale and melanoma malignum. Early surgical treatment is crucial for recovery as well as for good aesthetic result, especially on exposed body parts. All those lesions are visible for observers and the time from their appearance to surgical treatment seems to be too long.
<bold>The aim of the study</bold> was to answer the following questions: 1. After what time from the skin lesion appearance the patients report to a surgeon? 2. What is the underlying cause of delayed reporting for treatment of patients with skin lesions?
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> Questionnaire studies and analysis of medical histories were performed in the group of patients referred to Plastic Surgery Out-Patient Clinic in Łódź because of facial skin tumor in the last 5 years. Finally we collected data for 123 patients.
<bold>Results.</bold> The analyzed group consisted mostly of men (n=72). The age of respondents ranged from 45 to 92 years, mean 69.9 years ± 10.8 years. Mean time from observing lesion to the first medical consultation was 7.3 months and to visiting our Out-Patient Clinic was 2.7 years (ranged from 3 months to 16 years). All patients were qualified to surgical excision of tumor. Histopathological verification confirmed diagnosis of malignant neoplasms in 116 patients. In question concerning causes of delay in medical consultation or treatment, all respondents answered that fear of surgical procedure was one of the reasons.
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> Fear of surgical treatment is the most common cause of delay in patients' visiting doctor. In our society conviction of neoplasm spreading after surgical excision is common, especially among elderly.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.