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Skin cancer can be avoided if you take some precautions
Strong sun exposure can have dangerous consequences for our skin and can even cause skin cancer. Researchers have now found that most people do not protect themselves from the sun enough, even if they have had skin cancer before. Basic precautionary measures should be followed to reduce this risk. Wearing hats and sunscreen using sunscreen are effective ways to adequately protect yourself from the sun.
Skin cancer is a serious condition that can even lead to death. It should therefore be assumed that people who have survived skin cancer will better protect themselves from the sun in the future. However, scientists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found in their study that people generally do not protect themselves adequately from the sun, even if they have had skin cancer before. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology".
Study examines data from approximately 35,000 people
American researchers are now analyzing the survey data from about 760 adults who have a history of skin cancer. They also examined more than 34,000 people without a previous skin cancer, the authors say. The data showed that scientists with a history of skin cancer protect themselves from the sun more than twice as often as people who have never had anything to do with skin cancer. But a pre-existing skin cancer condition does not reduce the rate of sunburns, the researchers say. However, some people are simply more prone to sunburn than other people, explains lead author Alexander Fischer from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
An American dies of melanoma every hour
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. And every hour a person in America dies of melanoma, the experts say. To assess whether the history of skin cancer changes the behavior of those affected in the sun, doctors focused on so-called non-melanoma skin cancer (light skin cancer). Most of these are basal cell carcinomas. These can damage deeper tissue such as muscles and bones, but do not normally spread to other parts of the human body, the experts explain.
Around 44 percent of all people with a history of light skin cancer paid particular attention to being outdoors in the shade. In comparison, only about 27 percent of the people who preferred to stay in the shade, who had never previously suffered from such tumors, add the doctors. About 26 percent of all people with a history of skin cancer wore wide-brimmed hats and around 21 percent put on long-sleeved clothing. In people without previous tumors, the values were 11 percent when wearing hats and 8 percent when wearing long-sleeved clothing, the scientists say.
Doctors need to better inform skin cancer patients about sun protection
Only about 54 percent of the subjects previously suffering from skin cancer used products for sun protection. Although this value is better than in people without previous skin cancer (33 percent), it also shows that too many people are unprotected from sun damage, say the doctors. Some people still seem to believe that the sun is healthy for us and that the risk of skin cancer is exaggerated. However, patients who had previously developed skin cancer then took more precautions to protect themselves from the sun.
Most sunburns do not result from people sitting in the sun all day and tanning, the experts explain. Much of the sunburn in skin cancer patients results from moments of inattention, such as on the soccer field or during long walks outdoors, the researchers add. When people have bad habits, they are usually very difficult to change, even if there is a risk of cancer diagnosis. Doctors urgently need to educate skin cancer patients about the importance of adequate sun protection. The development of skin cancer is a risk factor that can be completely controlled, the experts explain. (as)