by Dr. Reeja Tharu on  May 6, 2013 at 11:47 AM Health Watch
Skin Cancer Survivors Shy Away from Sunscreen
A recent study has revealed that one fourth of skin cancer survivors do not wear sunscreen; some even continue to use tanning beds.

In a recent survey carried out by the American Association for Cancer Research it was found that 27.3 percent of those who have had melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, do not use sunscreen. Besides this shocker, the study also revealed that 21.5 percent of them continue to use tanning beds, which have been proven to increase a person's risk for melanoma!

Although skin cancer survivors are cautious and tend to stay in the shade more often, the above revelations are surprising! Another significant revelation was that 35.4 percent of the general population owned admitted not using sunscreens. The results of the study was based on the 2010 National Health Interview carried out on 27,120 Americans.

According to Dr Anees Chagpar, an associate professor of surgery at the Yale School of Medicine, and the study's chief author, the above results are particularly shocking, especially the fact that cancer survivors did not use a sunscreen and some even continued using tanning beds. Both these factors have the potential to cause a melanoma recurrence.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has revealed that melanoma is on the rise among the young and 9,480 Americans will succumb to this form of skin cancer during the current year. There are many reasons for the growing numbers, nevertheless, experts believe that over emphasis on beauty, and the association of tanned skin with physical attraction and health is the chief culprit.

People usually indulge in sun bathing and tanning without knowing the side effects or the dangers involved. Both these practices can become addictive due to the euphoric effect that sunshine can have on the brain and that is one of the reasons why those who have had skin cancer continue to sunbathe or use tanning beds. Another reason is that most skin cancer patients become resigned to their situation and believe that sun exposure cannot harm them any more as they have already been affected.

According to Dr. Ali Hendi, a clinical assistant professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, the general public is not being made aware of the consequences of constant and long-time exposure to the sun.

A person with a history of skin cancer is nine times more prone to develop the disease again. Doctors and health care experts must counsel skin cancer patients on the need to safeguard them from the sun. Educating people is paramount, as early diagnosis can actually bring about a effective cure.

Source: Medindia

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