NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

University of Aberdeen melanoma study wins research award

Peter Murchie wins award Image copyright sirastudio
Image caption Dr Peter Murchie (left) collected the award from the Royal College of General Practitioners

A study from the University of Aberdeen into melanoma treatment by GPs has won a major research award.

Dr Peter Murchie said melanoma sufferers who received their first treatment from a GP were no worse off than patients referred directly to hospital for treatment.

It looked at about 1,200 people with melanoma between 1991 and 2007.

The study has won the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) cancer research paper of the year award.

Dr Murchie said: "Preliminary treatment by a GP is the norm for treating melanoma in Australia, where the condition is much more common.

"We conducted this research to discover if people from north east Scotland who had their first operation for melanoma carried out by their GP were worse off as a result."

This found about 20% received their first melanoma treatment from their GP.

Dr Murchie added: "We found no evidence that people who had their first treatment for melanoma from a GP were more likely to die than those who had their first treatment in hospital.

"There was also no evidence that receiving initial melanoma treatment from a GP caused people to have more subsequent ill-health.

"Therefore, if GPs are encouraged to initially treat people with melanoma it's possible they could be diagnosed more quickly, resulting in a better system for patients and the NHS."

The paper was co-authored by Dr Amanda Lee, Dr Neil Campbell and Dr Edwin Amalraj Raja.

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