Navigation Links
Warning: New Skin Cancer Study Finds Outdoor Workers are Less Likely to Get Screened for Skin Cancer

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-sectional in-person household survey of U.S. workers. In 2000 and 2005, the Cancer Control Module was included as part of the NHIS and included questions on skin examinations that were administered to 19,702 and 18,422 employed participants, respectively. Questions included "Have you ever had all of your skin from head to toe checked for cancer either by a dermatologist or some other kind of doctor?" and "When did you have your most recent skin exam?"

Dr. Kirsner explained that data of all participants who reported a full-body skin examination were grouped into two categories -- those who received a skin exam in the last 12 months and ever in their lifetime. Workers also were asked about their sun-protection behavior, if they reported going out in the sun for an hour or more, and, from their responses, were classified as "sun exposed" for the purposes of the study.

In addition, detailed employment information was coded by occupation and industry for all participants aged 18 years or older employed during the time of the survey. Occupations were grouped into four standard occupational categories -- white-collar workers; service workers; farming, fishing, and forestry workers; and blue-collar workers. Workers were then subsequently grouped into eight industrial sector classifications -- agriculture, forestry, and fishing; mining; construction; manufacturing; wholesale and retail trade; transportation, warehousing, and utilities; services; and health care and social assistance.

"When we examined the data for the 38,124 total worker participants interviewed from the 2000 and 2005 Cancer Control Supplements, we found that the prevalence of both lifetime and 12-month skin examinations was low," said Dr. Kirsner. "Only 15 percent of all U.S. workers reported ever receiving a skin examination during their lifetime, and only 8 percent of those who also had seen a health care provider in the past year reported that they had received a skin exam during that time."

In addition, the data clearly showed that the rate of reporting skin cancer screening was lowest for high-risk occupations most likely to experience increased sun exposure. Specifically, in the 2000 and 2005 Cancer Control Modules, the prevalence of 12-month skin examinations among those who had seen a physician in the past year was lowest among farm workers (5.8 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively) and blue-collar workers (3.9 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively).

"When we analyzed the data by industry sectors, we concluded that agriculture, forestry, fishing, and construction workers reported the lowest rate of skin exams in 2000," said Dr. Kirsner. "Although the number of agriculture, forestry and fishing workers reporting a skin exam increased from 2000 to 2005 -- from 4.2 percent to 13.6 percent -- the prevalence of skin exams among construction workers stayed essentially the same, from 5.2 percent to 5.6 percent."

Dr. Kirsner added that occupational groups at increased risk for exposure to UV light on the job were less likely to have ever received a skin examination in their lifetime than the average U.S. worker (15 percent). This included farm operators and managers (10 percent), farm workers and other agricultural workers (7 percent), forestry and fishing occupations (3 percent), construction and mining trades (8 percent), and construction laborers (8 percent).

"Socioeconomic factors also were significant predictors of having a skin exam in the past year," said Dr. Kirsner. "Specifically, younger black or Hispanic women with no health insurance, who were service, farm or blue-collar workers, and who did not use sun protection were the least likely to report ever having been screened for skin cancer. All patients, especially those that have occupations where they are exposed to UV light, should request that their physician provide skin exams during their routine exams."

"In addition, developing and implementing local community health fairs that include screening programs targeting high-risk workers who are reporting low skin examination rates could help reverse this alarming trend," commented Dr. Kirsner. "One way to receive a free screening is through the Academy's National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Screening Program, where dermatologists volunteer to provide free skin cancer screenings in their communities. The public can visit to find a free skin cancer screening in their area."

For more information about skin cancer, please visit the SkinCancerNet section on, a Web site developed by dermatologists that provides patients with up-to-date information on the treatment and management of disorders of the skin, hair and nails.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 15,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or

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

Related medicine news :

1. Early warning: PSA testing can predict advanced prostate cancer
2. Warning: Expert at UH adds obesity to side effects of lead exposure
3. Conventional prognostic factors fail to explain better prostate cancer survival in most Asian men
4. Survival differences by race most apparent in advanced stages of breast cancer
5. MRI finds breast cancer before it becomes dangerous
6. Investigators uncover intriguing clues to why persistent acid reflux sometimes turns into cancer
7. Pathway links inflammation, angiogenesis and breast cancer
8. Radiologists encouraged to look beyond cancer for clinically unseen diseases
9. Diet high in meat, fat and refined grains linked to risk for colon cancer recurrence, death
10. Immune deficiency linked to a type of eye cancer
11. Drop in breast cancer incidence linked to hormone use, not mammograms
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... from UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School ... San Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more ... these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) ... will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research ... anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for a ... an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same rate ... assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... client, The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations at ... Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a complete ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  MedSource announced today that it has ... solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s ... their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data ... nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice in ... "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC platform ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: