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Effective Skin Cancer Prevention Methods for Young Adults (Aged 18–30 Years)

DiStefano, Andrea D.; Sincek, Bethany L.; Stieler, Jacoby D.

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association: July/August 2014 - Volume 6 - Issue 4 - p 171–175
doi: 10.1097/JDN.0000000000000052
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ABSTRACT The incidence of skin cancer is on the rise despite increased awareness and knowledge. Young adults (aged 18–30 years) rank the lowest in preventative practices among the general population. The focus of this systematic review is to discuss the most effective prevention methods young adults can practice to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer. Current research has revealed that primary care counseling, sun protection, and avoidance of tanning beds are the most effective prevention methods. Primary care counseling provides an effective way to reduce incidences of skin cancer by instilling in young people the importance of regular clinical examination and self-examination. Primary care providers must reinforce the importance of appropriate lifestyle behaviors for reducing the risk of skin cancer, including comprehensive skin coverage and limited exposure to ultraviolet radiation. By avoiding tanning beds, young adults can reduce their risk of developing squamous cell cancer, basal cell cancer, and melanoma. Future research to reduce the incidences of skin cancer is essential to explore interventions and improve strategies to better alert young adults to the importance of risk prevention and the necessity for their compliance with current recommendations.

Andrea D. DiStefano, FNP-BC, RN, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

Bethany L. Sincek, FNP-BC, RN, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

Jacoby D. Stieler, ARNP-C, RN, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Bethany L. Sincek, FNP-BC, RN, 3340 Valley View Rd., Sharpsville, PA 16150. E-mail:

Copyright © 2014 by the Dermatology Nurses' Association.