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Annu Rev Public Health. 1998;19:319-33.

Successful behavioral interventions to prevent cancer: the example of skin cancer.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


Important behavioral sources of risk for cancer have been identified and programs to reduce this risk have been initiated. The most heavily studied behavioral risk is tobacco use, but considerable attention has also gone to prevention of skin cancer by modifying sun exposure. Research has shown a strong link between sun exposure and skin cancer, and opportunities to prevent this cancer by changing behavior should be effective. Unlike unmodifiable sources of risk, sun exposure should be modifiable through behavioral intervention. This review considers research in this expanding area, concentrating on predictors of sun protective behaviors, modification of sun exposure, and surveillance for early signs of cancer. The elements of behavior change programs that contribute to successful intervention as well as barriers to successful behavior change and future directions for this effort are considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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