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Warning: New Skin Cancer Study Finds Outdoor Workers are Less Likely to Get Screened for Skin Cancer
Date:5/5/2008

Workers with elevated occupational exposure to sunlight less likely to be

screened for skin cancer than the average worker

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- While occupational risks are inherent in many jobs, workers who make a living toiling in the sun face an increased threat of skin cancer from repeated overexposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Now, new research finds that workers who need skin exams the most by nature of their occupation -- such as construction, forestry, fishing and farming workers -- are the least likely to get them.

In the study published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology entitled "Reported skin cancer screening of U.S. adult workers," dermatologist Robert S. Kirsner, MD, PhD, FAAD, professor and vice chairman of the departments of dermatology and cutaneous surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, and his colleagues used the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data from 2000 and 2005 to estimate the percentage of U.S. workers who had ever had a thorough skin examination in their lifetime or during an appointment with a primary health care provider in the past 12 months.

"Previous studies have shown that total-body screening examinations are not frequently performed during routine health examinations by primary care physicians, even among potentially high-risk populations," said Dr. Kirsner. "As dermatologists, we know that the early detection of skin cancer by routine skin examinations is crucial in successfully treating this potentially life-threatening condition -- particularly for workers routinely exposed to harmful ultraviolet light. This study shows that workers who need careful monitoring for skin cancer due to the nature of their jobs are less likely to receive skin exams than workers in low-risk occupations."

Conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the NHIS is an annual, cross-sectio
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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