The Melanoma Patient Education Atlas as a new supportive tool for melanoma health care professionals

December 2020 Clinical Practice Ariez

NOW AVAILABLE: reserve your atlas on

The first Belgian version of the Melanoma Patient Education Atlas was recently launched by Pierre Fabre Oncology in close collaboration with the Belgian Association of Dermato-Oncology (BADO) and patient association Melanoompunt vzw and is published by Esculaap Media bv. The atlas is developed as a tool to support the education of melanoma patients on topics associated with their disease by visualised communication.

For the Dutch version of the atlas, Pierre-Fabre was advised by Prof. Dr. Lieve Brochez (University Hospital Ghent) and Prof. Dr. Vibeke Kruse (AZ Nikolaas) while the French version was brought to life in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Jean-François Baurain (Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc). As both oncologists and patient organisations were involved in the development of the Melanoma Patient Education Atlas, this tool addresses the unmet need of both health care professionals and patients to better understand and discuss melanoma while using pictures in this process.

Support melanoma patients in various disease stages

The Melanoma Patient Education Atlas has carefully been composed for oncologists and onco-nurses and can be used to support melanoma patients in the various stages of their disease. As many patients, as well as their relatives, are confronted with fear and questions regarding their melanoma diagnosis, information at the level of the patient is of utmost importance. Therefore, the use of visual educational material can support personalised information.

The relationship between knowledge and memory for pictures has been a proven concept, not only in healthcare but also in training and coaching from children to elderly. As a picture is worth a thousand words, the Melanoma Patient Education Atlas is composed of numerous and clear images. It covers important topics such as the anatomy and pathology of the skin, diagnostics and disease staging, and it explains the various available treatment options.

Living with melanoma

In addition, there is a chapter on living with melanoma, with information on follow-up and healthy lifestyles, as well as how to recognise potential new melanomas and the options for supportive care in- and outside the hospital. Lieve Lijnen (co-founder of Melanoompunt vzw and melanoma patient for the past 10 years) further explains: “From my own experience, and that of many other patients I know, I’ve learned that clear information at the patient level is often lacking or gets lost because of the emotional status of the patient. By using the Melanoma Patient Education Atlas, visual information aids in a better understanding of the disease and prepares the patients as to what can be expected from the various treatment options. In addition, if used correctly, for oncologists, this atlas functions as a guidance to systematically explain all aspects of melanoma without losing the patient in complex terminology.”

At the ‘patient page’ of each topic, images are depicted and on the ‘health care professionals page’, these images are supplemented with supporting information that can guide oncologists or onco-nurses in daily clinical practice to give clear and correct information to their patients. Furthermore, the Melanoma Patient Education Atlas is made of durable and plasticised paper and comes with an erasable marker, making it easy to write and erase information during the consultations. Upon request, each hospital in Belgium and Luxemburg can receive at least one copy of the Melanoma Patient Education Atlas. Interested? Reserve your atlas now: