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Skin Cancer Survivors Aren’t Protecting Themselves From The Sun: Study

It is estimated more than 3 million people in America are diagnosed each year with a non-melanoma type of skin cancer. While the vast majority of people diagnosed with skin cancers other than melanoma do survive, fatalities are not unheard of. Given the gravity of a single diagnosis of cancer, the findings of recent research into survivors’ use of protection in the sun might be astonishing.

A recent study into the use of sun protection measures, including the use of sunscreen, revealed that many patients with a history of skin cancer don’t take the steps they should to protect their skin. Overall, researchers found that people with a past history of non-melanoma skin cancer reported getting burned at rates similar to those who have never had skin cancer in the past. The findings, researchers say, cast light on the need for the public in general to be better educated about the need to properly use multiple skin protection measures.

The study in question drew information from National Health Interview Surveys that were conducted in 2005 and 2010. Researchers found that those with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer were likely to use at least one form of protection, but many did not utilize multiple protections. For example, many respondents reported to trying to stick to the shade when outdoors. Researchers, however, noted that survivors and those without a history of skin cancer reported getting sunburns at roughly the same rate.

The sun’s harmful UV and UVB rays have long been connected with serious health concerns, such as skin cancer. People who would like to lower their risks are urged to employ multiple protections when outdoors during daylight hours. Sticking to the shade can help, but protective clothing, proper application of sunscreen and limiting exposure time are also important. To find out more about skin cancer and prevention, consult with a licensed healthcare provider.

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