An investigation into why people tan despite the known health risks
McCarthy, Lindsay Renae Tudor
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Skin cancer is a major health concern in the U.S. today. The incidences of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers are rising at an alarming rate. It is thought this is partly due to the increasing numbers of people using indoor tanning facilities. Ultraviolet radiation exposure from indoor tanning bed use is a major risk factor the development t of skin cancer. Public health campaigns have attempted to increase people's knowledge about skin cancer and UV exposure. This study attempts to explore what dermatology patients know about UV exposure and skin cancer. Thirty three dermatology patients participated in a multiple choice survey about various UV and skin cancer related knowledges. Results were analyzed based on certain themes that developed from the question scores. Overall, dermatology patients demonstrated certain knowledge deficiencies in what they know regarding UV exposure, indoor tanning, and skin cancer. The results from this study indicated a need for skin cancer awareness campaigns to include additional information about UV exposure and tanning beds. This study also demonstrated a need for routine physicals to include a history of ultraviolet radiation exposure. And finally, the results illustrate the importance for healthcare professionals to educate patients on how to do a self exam.