Prevention and control of skin cancer

Skin dancer is the most common and the most preventable form of cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with cumulative exposure to ultraviolet radiation, while melanoma is associated with intense episodes of ultraviolet exposure resulting in sunburns. The risk factors are associated with the development of skin cancer include: exposure to ultraviolet radiation; genetic factors such as skin type, eye and hair color, tendency to burn and tan, and having freckles and moles; a personal or family history of skin cancer; and occupational sun exposure. Primary prevention behaviors include applying SPF 15+ sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure, reapplying SPF 15+ sunscreen every 11/2, to 2 hours or after swimming or sweating, dressing in protective clothing, using shade, limiting exposure during peak sun hours, and avoiding artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation such as tanning beds. While skin cancer screenings have shown promising results, few studies have a followup component. Future studies should focus on developing effective strategies for making sun protective behaviors routine and determining the effectiveness of skin cancer screening.

Cancer and Metastasis Reviews, 1997, Vol 16, Iss 3-4, pp 309-327

Life Extension Foundation.

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