Skin cancer survivors still out in the sun
Some people never learn. A nationwide survey presented by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that more than 1 in 4 melanoma survivors do not use sunscreen when they go outdoors, and some actually still frequent tanning beds.
The results are based on data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, which is a nationwide study run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the health habits of the country. Anees Chagpar, associate professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine, and her colleagues analyzed the responses from 171 melanoma survivors involved in the larger survey.
They found that while most melanoma survivors did take precautions against the sun after their bout with skin cancer, an alarming number did not protect their skin from the sun and even engaged in activities that greatly increased the risk of skin cancer. Specifically, 27.3 percent of melanoma survivors said they did not apply sunscreen before going outdoors for more than an hour and 15.4 percent said that they rarely make an effort to stay in the shade when they do go outdoors. And then there were the 2.1 percent of melanoma survivors who said that they had used an indoor tanning bed in the last year.
Chagpar and her colleagues called the findings ‘incredibly disturbing’ and suggested that some of the melanoma survivors may suffer from an addiction to tanning, which keeps them going back to tanning beds and forgoing sunscreen. The research authors called for more education for skin cancer survivors on the dangers of sun exposure.