SCARD: 16 years on
It was Easter in 2007 when SCARD started seeing significant use, and with the impending arrival of a particular bunny, the primary email chain had a subject line of “Rabbit Stew.” Since its introduction in 2007, SCARD has become one of the largest databases for skin cancer treatment and research in Australia & New Zealand.
The database was established to provide an evidence-based approach to the management of skin cancer and has since become a valuable tool for clinicians and researchers alike. Over the past 16 years, SCARD has documented over 1,545,000 skin cancers, including almost 40,000 melanomas, making it one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive skin cancer databases.
It has also been used to evaluate the accuracy of different diagnostic tests and to assess the effectiveness of various treatment options. This research has led to meaningful improvements in the care of patients with skin cancer, including better diagnosis, more effective treatments, and improved outcomes.
First, SCARD has enabled the collection and analysis of data on skin cancer patients, which has led to important insights into the disease. For example, as I mentioned earlier, SCARD has been used to document the characteristics and outcomes of hundreds of patients with melanoma. This information has helped researchers and clinicians better understand the disease and develop more effective treatments.
Second, SCARD has helped improve skin cancer patients’ quality of care. By providing a platform for documenting patient data and tracking outcomes, SCARD has enabled clinicians to identify areas where care could be improved and to implement interventions to address those areas. For example, one paper published through SCARD described how a quality improvement initiative led to a significant increase in the use of Mohs surgery for patients with high-risk non-melanoma skin cancers.
Finally, SCARD has impacted skin cancer research and policy more broadly. The database has been used to inform national guidelines for the management of skin cancer, and it has been cited in numerous papers and reports on the topic. Additionally, SCARD has facilitated collaborations between researchers and clinicians in different countries, enabling the sharing of knowledge and resources to improve care for skin cancer patients worldwide.