Although excessive UV [ultraviolet] radiation exposure is associated with skin cancer, some melanoma survivors report indoor tanning and getting sunburns, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.1

To evaluate ultraviolet radiation exposure and protection behaviors among long-term melanoma survivors, researchers recruited 724 survivors from a previously conducted case-control study to take part in a cross-sectional survey. Investigators identified 660 matched controls to complete the follow-up survey.

Melanoma survivors were 28% less likely to report high sun exposure on a typical weekday (odds ratio [OR], 0.72; 95% CI, 0.55-0.94), 60% less likely to report sunburns (OR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.30-0.53), and 80% less likely to participate in indoor tanning (OR, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.09-0.44) compared with controls. The rate of high sun exposure on a typical weekend was similar between the 2 groups.

Nearly 62% of survivors reported wearing sunscreen often or always compared with only about 38% of controls, though almost 20% of melanoma survivors reported having sunburns within the previous year.

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Ten percent of survivors reported intentional sun-tanning.

The findings suggest a need for additional interventions and education to improve sun protection among melanoma survivors to reduce the risk of developing future melanomas.

Reference

  1. Isaksson Vogel R, Strayer LG, Engelman L, et al. Sun Exposure and protection behaviors among long-term melanoma survivors and population controls. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarker Prev. 2017 March 2. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0854 [Epub ahead of print]