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Skin Cancer Knowledge and Prevention Practices Among Young Adult Athletes

Orsimarsi, Gianna

Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association: May/June 2019 - Volume 11 - Issue 3 - p 113–128
doi: 10.1097/JDN.0000000000000468

ABSTRACT The Skin Cancer Foundation defines skin cancer as uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells (The Skin Cancer Foundation, 2016b). Skin cancer risk factors include ultraviolet radiation and sun exposure (American Cancer Society, 2016b). Young adult outdoor athletes are frequently exposed to the sun and are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Research found young adult athletes average 1,000 hours in the sun annually for their sport (Wysong et al., 2012). This article examines current literature and studies that have researched young adult athletes on their knowledge of being at an increased skin cancer risk as well as their attitudes and sun protective behaviors in regard to skin cancer and prevention. The purpose is to evaluate as a whole whether frequent sun exposure influences young adult athletes’ use of preventative measures such as sunscreen or protective clothing. Results found that most athletes were knowledgeable of sunscreen use being a preventative measure for sun protection and skin cancer; however, sunscreen was not always applied (Lawler et al., 2012; Walker et al., 2014; Wysong et al., 2012). Results indicate that skin cancer and preventative practices among young adult athletes continue to be a concern, and therefore research should focus on addressing ways to promote skin cancer prevention practices as well as screening, management, and treatment strategies (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2014).

Gianna Orsimarsi, MSN, APN, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Gianna Orsimarsi, MSN, APN.

Copyright © 2019 by the Dermatology Nurses' Association.