Among Melanoma Survivors, Many Are Still Drawn to the Sun

(HealthDay News) – Although melanoma survivors tend to engage in more sun protection practices than the general population, many do not seek shade and never wear sunscreen, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held April 4–10 in Washington, DC.

Anees B. Chagpar, MD, MPH, from Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, and colleagues used data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey to examine the adherence to sun protection practices among melanoma survivors and the general population.

Of 27,120 adult respondents, 0.74% had a previous history of melanoma. The researchers found that although significantly more melanoma survivors reported always staying in the shade (15.6% vs. 10.5%), 15.4% of survivors reported rarely or never staying in the shade. When going outside on a warm, sunny day for >1 hour, melanoma survivors were significantly more likely to always wear a baseball cap/visor, a wide-brimmed hat, and a long-sleeved shirt, and were significantly more likely to report always using sunscreen compared with the general population. However, 27.3% of melanoma survivors reported never wearing sunscreen. Indoor tanning device use was significantly less likely among melanoma survivors than the general population (2.1% vs. 5.5%).

“Although we found that melanoma survivors did better than the general public at protecting their skin from the sun, we also found that more than a quarter of melanoma survivors never wear sunscreen,” Chagpar said in a statement.

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