Study suggests melanoma patients increase sun exposure after diagnosis

According to a study at the University of Copenhagen, patients with melanoma became increasingly relaxed about their exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), especially during overseas vacations. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is a potentially lethal skin cancer, but is a fairly rare form of skin cancer.

The researchers studied 40 participants, including 20 patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) and 20 controlled participants, measuring their exposure to UVR using personal electronic “UVR dosimeters” and sun exposure diary logs. The UVR dosimeters, similar to a wristwatch, were worn  whenever they were outside, especially between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. They were also required to answer simple “yes” and “no” style questions such as, “Did you sunbathe today?” or “Have you applied a sunscreen today?” in their diaries. 

Study findings showed that patients’ daily UVR exposure increased 25 percent from the first to the second summer after diagnosis and 33 percent from the first to the third summer after diagnosis. UVR exposure also increased on vacations and days spent abroad. CMM patients also recorded that they had been sunburned at least once during the study period, and that that their use of sunscreen had become lax by the third summer after diagnosis.  

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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Melanoma Patients Increase Sun Exposure After Diagnosis