Journal of Community Health

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 212–219 | Cite as

Opportunities for Skin Cancer Prevention Education among Individuals Attending a Community Skin Cancer Screening in a High-Risk Catchment Area

  • Bridget Grahmann Parsons
  • Lisa H. Gren
  • Sara E. Simonsen
  • Garrett Harding
  • Douglas Grossman
  • Yelena P. Wu
Original Paper


Despite the highly preventable nature of skin cancer, it remains the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. Recommendations for a complete skin cancer prevention regimen include engaging in photoprotection (e.g., sunscreen use), avoiding skin cancer risk behaviors (e.g., tanning), and receiving total body skin exams from a health care provider. The current study examined reported engagement in these behaviors among participants attending a community skin cancer screening (N = 319) in a high-risk catchment area to assess the need for increased health education on skin cancer prevention. Participants’ responses indicate a history of suboptimal avoidance of skin cancer risk behaviors. Over half of participants (52%) reported four or more blistering sunburns before age 20, and 46% reported indoor tanning at least one during their lifetime. There is a need among this population for education regarding a complete skin cancer prevention regimen, which could improve adherence to photoprotection and avoidance of skin cancer risk behaviors, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality due to skin cancer.


Skin cancer Prevention Health education Community screening 



We thank John J. Zone, MD, Karen Newman, and the physicians from the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah who conducted the skin cancer screening.


We acknowledge the support of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and the National Cancer Institute (K07CA196985) to Yelena P. Wu. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bridget Grahmann Parsons
    • 1
  • Lisa H. Gren
    • 2
  • Sara E. Simonsen
    • 3
  • Garrett Harding
    • 4
  • Douglas Grossman
    • 5
    • 6
  • Yelena P. Wu
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Cancer Control and Population SciencesHuntsman Cancer InstituteSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive MedicineUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.College of NursingUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.Community Outreach and Prevention EducationHuntsman Cancer InstituteSalt Lake CityUSA
  5. 5.Department of DermatologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  6. 6.Department of Oncological ServicesHuntsman Cancer InstituteSalt Lake CityUSA

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