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Education Can Help Prevent Skin Cancer

Posted: January 11, 2007

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The middle school years were noted as being an especially important time to be sure that teenagers are given the important information regarding the risks and precautions of sun exposure. The project establishes that the teenage years are influential as a time when children begin to establish their own health habits. The hopes to influence these habits in a healthy way can prevent many individuals from having to suffer from future skin cancer.

Some of the findings from the study include that only about 30 percent of middle school students protect themselves from the sun. Seventy percent of the children surveyed had suffered from a sunburn during the previous summer.

Statistics indicate that one or more blistering sunburn before 20 years of age doubles the risk of getting skin cancer.

Children have three times as much exposure to the sun as adults. Therefore, statistically, the majority of lifetime sun exposure occurs by the age of 18 years.

Health care providers should take part in the responsibility to discuss sun exposure with the teenagers as well as parents, teachers and coaches. However, this study found that only one-third of physicians had spoken to their patients about this subject.