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Patient Alert: New Study Finds Most Organ Transplant Patients Are Unaware of Their Increased Risk for Skin Cancer
Date:2/1/2008

s consumed with the more pressing issues of rejection and infection, patients cannot be expected to recall information regarding the risks of sun exposure," explained Dr. Youker. "Clearly, another method of informing patients of this risk is needed -- preferably one involving dermatologists, who can assist the transplant team with strategies to educate and treat this high-risk patient population."

Dr. Youker cited a related study, "Educational Outcomes Regarding Skin Cancer in Organ Transplant Recipients," published in the June 2006 issue of the Archives of Dermatology, that found that the patients who received an intensive educational program in which written reminders reinforced the risk of skin cancer fared significantly better in terms of complying with the recommended sun protection tips than those patients who did not receive this education.

"Regular correspondence with transplant patients concerning the risk of skin cancer and referral to a dermatologist for initial skin screening, assessment of risk factors and detailed education about skin cancer prevention could help reduce the incidence of skin cancers in these patients," added Dr. Youker.

Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. The Academy recommends that everyone follow these sun protection guidelines:

-- Generously apply a water-resistant sunscreen to all exposed skin using

a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides

broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet

B (UVB) rays. Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after

swimming or sweating. Look for the AAD SEAL OF RECOGNITION(TM) on

products that meet this criteria.

-- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a

wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, where possible.

-- Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun's rays are

strongest bet
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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