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Radiol Technol. 2017 Mar;88(4):373-377.

University Student Awareness of Skin Cancer: Behaviors, Recognition, and Prevention.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Skin cancer is the most common cancer, and it often is preventable. The authors sought to evaluate behavior and knowledge regarding skin cancer among students at a Texas university.

METHODS:

The authors recruited a diverse group of students in terms of sex, age, and ethnicity to participate in a survey regarding knowledge of skin cancer signs, use of tanning beds, and performance of self-assessment for skin cancer. Participating students could complete surveys in classrooms, at health fairs, or online via Survey Monkey. The authors examined data for the 3 variables in relation to sex, ethnicity, and age.

RESULTS:

A total of 512 responses were completed. Female students completed 371 (72.46%) surveys, and male students completed 141 (27.54%). The ethnicity of student participants was nearly evenly split among whites, African Americans, and Hispanics. Ethnicity was the most significant factor influencing the knowledge of skin cancer and behaviors to prevent it. Specifically, Hispanic and African American students possessed a lower level of skin cancer awareness.

DISCUSSION:

More female students than male students used tanning beds, and although use was self-reported as infrequent, the results imply that 4500 of the university's students might use tanning beds, which is concerning if extrapolated to other university student populations in Texas.

CONCLUSION:

Behavioral intervention is critical in reducing students' risk of skin cancer in later years, and university students must acquire knowledge to increase their awareness of skin health and to minimize their risk of developing skin cancer. Radiation therapists are uniquely positioned to share knowledge of skin cancer.

KEYWORDS:

cancer awareness; cancer prevention; skin cancer; university students

PMID:
28298495
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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