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Sun Protection Behaviors Often Poor Among Melanoma Survivors

Sun Protection Behaviors Often Poor Among Melanoma Survivors
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THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) — A sizeable proportion of melanoma survivors still report elevated sun exposure, sunburns, and suboptimal ultraviolet radiation protection behaviors, according to research published online March 2 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The new findings were based on a survey of 724 melanoma survivors and 660 adults the same age with no history of the disease. On average, the survivors had been diagnosed 10 years earlier, when they were between the ages of 25 and 59.

The researchers found that most survivors were more vigilant about sun protection compared to the control group. But three-quarters (74.8 percent) of survivors said they typically spent at least two hours in the summer sun on weekend days. Furthermore, 38.1 percent said they usually did not wear sunscreen when they were outside in the summer. Less than half (48.1 percent) said they typically tried to stay in the shade. Overall, 19.5 percent of survivors said they’d had a sunburn in the past year, while 10.4 percent said they’d sunbathed with the aim of getting a tan.

“Although long-term melanoma survivors reported healthier ultraviolet radiation exposure and protection behaviors compared with controls, a sizeable proportion still reported elevated sun exposure, sunburns, and suboptimal ultraviolet radiation protection behaviors,” the authors write. “Opportunities remain for improving sun protection to reduce future melanoma risk among melanoma survivors.”

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