Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 142, Issue 6, pp 1273–1283 | Cite as

Skin cancer prevention practices among malignant melanoma survivors: a systematic review

  • Vinayak K. Nahar
  • M. Allison Ford
  • Robert T. Brodell
  • Javier F. Boyas
  • Stephanie K. Jacks
  • Rizwana Biviji-Sharma
  • Mary A. Haskins
  • Martha A. Bass
Review – Clinical Oncology



This systematic review was conducted to evaluate and summarize the existing literature on prevalence of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure, sun protection, and screening behaviors among individuals diagnosed with malignant melanoma (MM).


The search was performed in PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ScienceDirect, EMBASE, and ERIC from inception of each database through July 2014. Studies were included if (1) individuals diagnosed with MM were the primary sample, (2) measured UVR exposure, primary and secondary preventive behaviors, (3) original research communication that constitutes an entire set of empirical data, (4) observational design, and (5) English peer-reviewed. Studies were excluded if (1) all of the inclusion criteria were not met and (2) duplicates, conference abstracts, editorials, news, letters to the editor, comments, reviews, feature articles, white papers, and guidelines.


The search resulted in 255 articles that were screened for relevance; however, only 15 articles met all of the inclusion criteria. Most of the studies were cross-sectional (n = 10), used self-administered surveys (n = 8), and were conducted in North America (n = 10). The sample sizes ranged considerably, but were mostly Caucasian (n = 6) and included a higher proportion of women (n = 8). Evidence demonstrated that individuals with MM still engaged in sunbathing, indoor tanning, and reported sunburns. Moreover, survivors reported inadequate levels of both sun protection and skin self-examinations.


The findings highlight the need for intensifying intervention strategies to reduce the risk of new primary MMs in this group. Future research should increase in rigor and include more diverse populations and regions.


MM survivors UVR exposure Sun protection behaviors Skin self-examinations 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the researchers will be benefitting financially from the study or the publication. Vinayak K. Nahar, M. Allison Ford, Javier F. Boyas, Stephanie K. Jacks, Rizwana Biviji-Sharma, Mary A. Haskins, and Martha A. Bass have no conflict of interests to report. Robert T. Brodell discloses the following potential conflicts of interest: Honoraria have been received from presentations for Allergan, Galderma, and PharmaDerm, a division of Nycomed US Inc. Consultant fees have been received from Galderma Laboratories, L.P. Clinical trials have been performed for Genentech and Janssen Biotech Inc. The material in this article is not believed to be relevant to any of these reported conflicts.

Informed consent

Since this was a systematic review, informed consent was not required.

Ethical approval

We have observed appropriate ethical guidelines and legislation in conducting the study. Since this was a systematic review, approval was not required by the IRB at the University of Mississippi.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinayak K. Nahar
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Allison Ford
    • 1
  • Robert T. Brodell
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Javier F. Boyas
    • 5
  • Stephanie K. Jacks
    • 2
  • Rizwana Biviji-Sharma
    • 6
  • Mary A. Haskins
    • 1
  • Martha A. Bass
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation ManagementThe University of MississippiUniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA
  4. 4.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Rochester School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA
  5. 5.Department of Social WorkUniversity of MississippiOxfordUSA
  6. 6.Department of Health Policy and Management, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public HealthIndiana University, IUPUIIndianapolisUSA

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