Skin cancer-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices among the population in Gulf Cooperation Council countries: a systematic search and literature review


Skin cancers are the most common malignancies diagnosed worldwide. In Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, skin cancer remains a significant health burden. Multiple studies have attempted to elucidate patient knowledge and attitudes regarding skin cancer risks and behavioral interventions to reduce risks. A systematic literature search of relevant articles was conducted in PubMed, ScienceDirect, and the Saudi Digital Library databases. A narrative analysis of relevant study results was conducted. A total of 12 studies were reviewed across GCC. These studies revealed common themes among GCC populations. Many study participants were aware that excess sun exposure represents a threat to health and increases cancer risk. Several studies reported sun exposure, with a mean of 19.13 h per week. More studies reported patients engaging in lower or no sunscreen use rather than regular sunscreen use. There are discrepancies in the understanding of sun exposure risk and risk mitigation practices among the study populations. Skin cancer poses a significant burden to patients in GCC countries and improved patient education will enhance population health.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vinayak K. Nahar.

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Conflict of interest

Robert Brodell, MD, FAAD has the following conflicts of interest: multicenter clinical trials: Novartis—principal investigator; Corrona Psoriasis Biologic Registry. Editorial boards: Faculty Advisor, American Medical Student Research Journal; Editor-in-Chief, Practice Update Dermatology; Associate Editor, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology; Practical Dermatology; Journal of the Mississippi State Medical Society; SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine; Archives of Dermatological Research. Advisory boards: Bracco Diagnostics, Inc. (gadolinium-based contrast agent litigation); Chairperson of REGN3500 AD independent monitoring committee (iDMC) (Sanofi Genzyme/Regeneron); SunPharma; and Cassiopea. There are no conflicts of interest related to employment, stock ownership, expert testimony, grants, patents filed, received, pending, or in preparation, or royalties. Vinayak K. Nahar, MD, PhD, Amanda H. Wilkerson, PhD, Ross L. Pearlman, MD, Taylor S. Ferris, BA, Pooya Zardoost, MS, Shirley N. Payson, MS, Iram Aman, MD, and Syed Siraj A. Quadri, PhD, have no conflicts of interest.

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Nahar, V.K., Wilkerson, A.H., Pearlman, R.L. et al. Skin cancer-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices among the population in Gulf Cooperation Council countries: a systematic search and literature review. Arch Dermatol Res 312, 533–544 (2020).

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  • Skin cancer
  • Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Sun protection behaviors
  • Ultraviolet radiation exposure
  • Awareness
  • Perceptions