European Journal of Dermatology

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 297–304 | Cite as

Examination of skin lesions for cancer: Which clinical decision aids and tools are available in general practice?

  • Cecile J. L. Koelink
  • Marcel F. Jonkman
  • Klaas van der Meer
  • Wouter K. van der Heide
Review article



While skin cancer incidence is rising throughout Europe, general practitioners (GP) feel unsure about their ability to diagnose skin malignancies.


To evaluate whether the GP has sufficient validated clinical decision aids and tools for the examination of potentially malignant skin lesions.


We conducted a review searching Medline and the Cochrane Library. In addition, reference lists and personal archives were examined. Outcome measures were sensitivity and specificity but also the advantages and disadvantages of different clinical decision aids and tools.


No clinical decision aids or tools for the examination of non-pigmented lesions are available. Clinical decision aids and tools for the examination of pigmented lesions have mostly been studied in secondary care and, in primary care, randomised clinical trials comparing the additional value of a clinical decision aid or tools to care are scarce.


Sufficiently validated clinical decision aids and tools for the examination of potentially malignant skin lesions are lacking in general practice. The clinical decision aids and tools available in primary care need to be studied.


dermoscopy diagnosis general practitioners skin neoplasms telemedicine 


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Copyright information

© John Libbey Eurotext 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecile J. L. Koelink
    • 1
  • Marcel F. Jonkman
    • 2
  • Klaas van der Meer
    • 1
  • Wouter K. van der Heide
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General Practice, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of GroningenGroningenthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center GroningenUniversity of GroningenGroningenthe Netherlands

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