Despite Skin Cancer, People Will Return to Sun Exposure

Posted on Oct 04, 2013

[Via Reuters Health] In a report published by JAMA Dermatology, Danish dermatologists recently found that melanoma skin cancer survivors will stay out of the sun and use sun protection for the first year, but will eventually resort back to bad habits of sun exposure in the second and third years following.

People who have survived melanoma are much more likely to get it again if they don’t cover up and keep their skin out of the reach of the sun’s UV radiation.

To see how well patients protect themselves, she and her colleagues tracked 20 people during the three summers after they were diagnosed with melanoma. They compared those patients to another 20 melanoma-free people who mirrored the patients in their age, gender and skin type. All study participants recorded the time they spent in the sun and use of sunscreen in daily diaries. They also wore watches that measured UV radiation exposure[.]

The first summer showed that the skin cancer survivors spent fewer days exposed to the sun without sunscreen compared to the melanoma-free participants. The following summer, exposure of the sun among melanoma survivors rose by 25% and then rose again during the third summer.

Although the study was small in scale, it opened up a curious door in understanding lifestyle and habitual choices made by those who spend more time in the sun and those with melanoma skin cancer.

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