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Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for May 8, 2012, online issue
Date:5/7/2012

ctive Behaviors Among Patients at Greatest Risk for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, affecting more than two million American each year. Having light skin, hair, and eyes increases a patient's risk for skin cancer, as does over-exposure to ultraviolet rays at an early age. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that physicians counsel children, adolescents, and young adults aged 10 to 24 years who have fair skin about skin cancer prevention. Evidence published since its 2003 recommendation statement suggest that counseling interventions in the primary care setting moderately increase the use of sun-protective behaviors among younger patients. Low-intensity interventions based on appearance proved effective. For example, physicians showed patients photos taken with a UV camera to demonstrate the extent to which UV rays can damage the skin. The Task Force recommendation applies to asymptomatic patients between the ages of 10 and 24 years with no history of skin cancer. There is insufficient evidence to determine if counseling interventions are effective for changing behavior in older adults.


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Contact: Abbey Anderson
aanderson@acponline.org
215-351-2656
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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