Are American Adults Taking Skin Cancer Seriously? Survey Findings Suggest Perhaps Not
Posted: Wednesday, June 16, 2021
The findings of a recent survey of 1,000 American adults suggest that just one-third seem to be concerned about developing skin cancer, even though 70% indicated they had at least one risk factor for the disease. In fact, the 2021 SPOT Skin Cancer™ survey, conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), reported that many respondents were more worried about avoiding sunburn (49%) or wrinkles (32%) than preventing skin cancer.
“These findings are surprising and seem to suggest that many people do not take skin cancer seriously or perhaps believe skin cancer won’t happen to them,” stated Board-certified dermatologist Robert T. Brodell, MD, FAAD, Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Dermatology and Professor of Pathology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, in an AAD press release. “Yet one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and nearly 20 Americans die of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, every day.”
Dr. Brodell encourages everyone to #PracticeSafeSun—such as seeking shade, wearing sun-protective clothing, and applying sunscreen—especially individuals with a greater risk of developing skin cancer. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), risk factors for skin cancer include skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun; blue or green eyes; blonde or red hair; more than 50 moles; a family history of skin cancer; and a personal history of skin cancer.