USPSTF Issues Draft Recommendation on Counseling to Prevent Skin Cancer

Counseling should be provided to fair-skinned individuals aged 6 months to 24 years, parents
Counseling should be provided to fair-skinned individuals aged 6 months to 24 years, parents

HealthDay News — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that fair-skinned individuals aged 6 months to 24 years and parents of young children be counseled regarding skin protection behaviors, while for adults over age 24 years, clinicians should consider the individual's risk of skin cancer before providing counseling. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online October 10 by the USPSTF.

Researchers from the USPSTF reviewed the evidence and made recommendations about the effectiveness of providing behavioral counseling to prevent skin cancer. 

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The researchers recommend that clinicians provide counseling on sun protection behaviors for anyone with fair skin aged 6 months to 24 years, including parents of young children with fair skin (B recommendation). Clinicians should consider an individual's risk of skin cancer in their decision about whether to provide counseling for adults aged over 24 years with fair skin (C recommendation). The evidence was insufficient to determine whether counseling adults about skin self-examinations is beneficial or harmful (I statement). These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement, which will be available for public comment from October 10 to Novober 6, 2017.

"The task force found that providing behavioral counseling to children, their parents, and young adults encourages sun protective behaviors. These actions, such as using sunscreen, wearing sun-protective clothing, and avoiding indoor tanning, can help prevent skin cancer later in life," USPSTF member Karina W. Davidson, PhD, said in a statement.

Draft Recommendation Statement
Comment on Recommendations