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Relatives of melanoma patients ignore their skin cancer risk

21.02.2011
It is well known that sunbathing increases the risk of skin cancer and that this risk is increased in people with a family history of melanoma. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Public Health shows that young people in this 'at risk' group are still ignoring sun safety advice.

Professor Sharon Manne at the Centre Cancer Prevention and Control Program, New Jersey, asked over 500 people with a family history of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, whether they regularly sunbathed and whether they used sunscreen. Although most of these people were aware that sunscreen would protect them against cancer and premature aging, many of them still did not feel it necessary to use any form of sun protection.

Disturbingly she found that, despite their increased risk of melanoma, the younger women in this survey still viewed a tan as being healthy and were the most unlikely to use sunscreen. Professor Manne said, "To reduce the incidence of melanoma we need to reduce the perceived benefits of sunbathing and to increase to use of sun protection."

Notes to Editors

1. Sun protection and sunbathing practices among at-risk family members of patients with melanoma
Sharon L Manne, Elliot J Coups, Paul B Jacobsen, Michael Ming, Carolyn J Heckman, and Stuart Lessin

BMC Public Health (in press)

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication.

2. BMC Public Health is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in the epidemiology of disease and the understanding of all aspects of public health. The journal has a special focus on the social determinants of health, the environmental, behavioral, and occupational correlates of health and disease, and the impact of health policies, practices and interventions on the community.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

Dr. Hilary Glover | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.biomedcentral.com

Further reports about: BMC BioMed STM health services melanoma skin cancer sun protection sunbathing sunscreen

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