Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 106, Issue 4, pp e236–e243 | Cite as

Skin deep: Coverage of skin cancer and recreational tanning in Canadian women’s magazines (2000–2012)

  • Jennifer E. McWhirter
  • Laurie Hoffman-GoetzEmail author
Qualitative Research
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

Objective

Skin cancer is a significant public health problem among Canadians. Knowledge and attitudes about health are informed by mass media. The aim of our study was to describe the volume and nature of coverage of skin cancer and recreational tanning in Canadian women’s magazines.

Methods

Directed content analysis on article text and images in six popular Canadian women’s magazines (Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Homemakers, Flare, FASHION, ELLE Canada) from 2000–2012 with attention to risk factors, ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure and protection behaviours, and early detection. Six popular American women’s magazines were used for a between-country comparison.

Results

There were 154 articles (221 images) about skin cancer and tanning published over 1 3 years. Volume of coverage did not increase in a linear fashion over time. The most common risk factor reported on was UV exposure (39%), with other risk factors less frequently identified. Although 72% of articles promoted sunscreen use, little content encouraged other protection behaviours. Only 15% of articles and 1 % of images discouraged indoor tanning, while 41 % of articles and 53% of images promoted the tanned look as attractive. Few articles (<11 %) reported on early detection. Relative to American magazines, Canadian magazines had a greater proportion of content that encouraged sunscreen use and promoted the tanned look and a lesser proportion of content on risk factors and early detection.

Conclusion

Skin cancer and tanning messages in Canadian women’s magazines had a narrow focus and provided limited information on risk factors or screening. Conflicting messages about prevention (text vs. images) may contribute to harmful UV behaviours among Canadian women.

Key words

Sunbathing ultraviolet rays suntan melanoma beauty communications media 

Résumé

Objectif

Le cancer de la peau est un important problème de santé publique chez les Canadiens. Les connaissances et les attitudes en santé sont formées par les médias de masse. L’objectif de notre étude était de décrire le volume et la nature de la couverture du cancer de la peau et du bronzage de beauté dans les périodiques canadiens pour les femmes.

Méthodes

Analyse de contenu du texte et des images des articles de six périodiques canadiens pour les femmes (Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Homemakers, Flare, FASHION, ELLE Canada) de 2000 à 2012, axée sur les facteurs de risque, les comportements d’exposition aux rayons ultraviolets (UV) et de protection, et la détection précoce. On a utilisé six périodiques américains populaires pour les femmes pour la comparaison entre les pays.

Résultats

Cent cinquante-quatre (154) articles (221 images) sur le cancer de la peau et le bronzage ont été publiés sur 1 3 ans. Le volume de la couverture n’a pas augmenté de façon linéaire au fil du temps. Le facteur de risque le plus traité était l’exposition aux rayons UV (39 %) et d’autres facteurs étaient mentionnés moins fréquemment. Peu de contenu encourageait d’autres comportements de protection même si 72 % des articles faisaient la promotion des écrans solaires. Seulement 15 % des articles et 1 % des images décourageaient le bronzage intérieur tandis que 41 % des articles et 53 % des images faisaient la promotion de la beauté d’une peau bronzée. Peu d’articles (<11 %) mentionnaient la détection précoce. Les périodiques canadiens, comparés aux périodiques américains, avaient une plus grande proportion de contenu qui encourageait le recours aux écrans solaires et favorisait le bronzage et une moins grande proportion de contenu sur les facteurs de risque et la détection précoce.

Conclusion

Les messages sur le cancer de la peau et le bronzage dans les périodiques canadiens pour les femmes portent peu d’attention aux facteurs de risque et au dépistage et offrent peu d’information sur ces sujets. Les messages contradictoires sur la prévention (texte c. images) peuvent contribuer aux comportements dommageables en matière d’UV chez les femmes canadiennes.

Mots Clés

bain de soleil rayons ultraviolets bronzage mélanome beauté médias de communication 

References

  1. 1.
    Canadian Cancer Society’s Advisory Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2014. Chapter 7: Special Topic: Skin Cancers. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.cancer.ca/~/media/cancer.ca/CW/cancer%20information/cancer%20101/Canadian%20cancer%20statistics/Canadian-Cancer-Sta tistics-2014-EN.pdf (Accessed August 12, 2014).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Krueger H, Williams D, Chomiak M, Trenaman L. The Economic Burden of Skin Cancer in Canada: Current and Projected. Toronto, ON: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, 2010. Available at: https://doi.org/www.partnershipagainstcancer.ca/wp-content/uploads/Economic-Burden-of-Skin-Cancer-in- Canada-Report-Finall.pdf (Accessed August 20, 2014).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    International Agency for Research on Cancer. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Volume 100D. A Review of Human Carcinogens. Part D: Radiation. Lyon, France: IARC, 2012.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Armstrong BC, Kricker A. How much melanoma is caused by sun exposure? Melanoma Res 1993;3:395–401. PMID: 8161879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    El Ghissassi F, Baan R, Straif K, Grosse Y, Secretan B, Bouvard V et al. A review of human carcinogens—Part D: Radiation. Lancet Oncol 2009;10:751–52. PMID: 19655431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Canadian Cancer Society. Risk Factors for Melanoma, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/skin-melanoma/risks/?region=on (Accessed August 28, 2014).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    National Skin Cancer Prevention Committee. Exposure to and Protection from the Sun in Canada: A Report Based on the 2006 Second National Sun Survey. Toronto, ON: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, 2010. Available at: https://doi.org/www.partnershipagainstcancer.ca/wp-content/uploads/Exposure-to-and-Protection-from-the-Sun-in-Canada.pdf (Accessed August 20, 2014).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Guo D, Hawkins S, Quantz SD, Kalisiak M. Indoor Tanning in Canada - Where We Are and How We Got Here. Canadian Dermatology Association Annual Conference Proceedings, 2013. Available at: https://doi.org/www.dermatology.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2013Abstracts_Eng-web.pdf (Accessed September 3, 2014).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    McDonald’s Canada. Frequently Asked Questions, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.mcdonalds.ca/ca/en/contact_us/faq.html (Accessed September 8, 2014).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tim Hortons. About Us: The Story of Tim Hortons, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.timhortons.com/ca/en/about/the-story-of-tim-hortons.php (Accessed September 9, 2014).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dixon H, Warne C, Scully M, Dobbinson S, Wakefield M. Agenda-setting effects of sun-related news coverage on public attitudes and beliefs about tanning and skin cancer. Health Commun 2014;29:173–81. PMID: 23485415. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2012.732027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Abdelmutti N, Hoffman-Goetz L. Risk messages about HPV, cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccine Gardasil in North American news magazines. J Cancer Educ 2010;25:451–56. PMID: 20232189. doi: 10.1007/sl3187-010-0087-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    McWhirter JE, Hoffman-Goetz L, Clarke JN. Can you see what they are saying? Breast cancer images and text in Canadian women’s and fashion magazines. J Cancer Educ 2012;27:383–91. PMID: 22228485. doi: 10.1007/S13187-011-0305-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hoffman-Goetz L, MacDonald M. Cancer coverage in mass-circulating Canadian women’s magazines. Can J Public Health 1999;90:55–59. PMID: 10910568.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    McCombs ME, Shaw DL. The agenda-setting function of mass media. Public Opin Q 1972;36(Summer):176–87. doi: 10.1086/267990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Magazines Canada. U.S. Spill into Canada, 2012. Available at: https://doi.org/www.magazinescanada.ca/uploads/File/AdServices/Research/USSpill/USSpill2011EN_July2012.pdf (Accessed September 8, 2014).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    U.S. Cancer Statistics Work Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2011 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta, GA: US. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.cdc.gov/uscs (Accessed September 6, 2014).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    National Conference on State Legislatures. Indoor Tanning Restrictions for Minors: A State-by-state Comparison, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.ncsl.org/research/health/indoor-tanning-restrictions.aspx (Accessed September 9, 2014).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    The University of Nottingham and the Education Development Innovation Technologies Lab. SMOG Calculator. Available at: https://doi.org/www.niace.org.uk/misc/SMOG-calculator/smogcalc.php (Accessed July 11, 2014).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Slater MD, Long M, Bettinghaus EP, Reineke JB. News coverage of cancer in the United States: A national sample of newspapers, television, and magazines. J Health Commun 2008;13:523–37. PMID: 18726810. doi: 10.1080/10810730802279571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gamble RG, Fuller EN, Dymek PM, Walkosz BJ, Jensen JD, Duke JK, et al. Tanning and sun-protection portrayal in magazine images. Arch Dermatol 2011;147:983–84. PMID: 21844464. doi: 10.1001/archdermatol.2011.209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    McWhirter JE, Hoffman-Goetz L. Systematic review: Impact of images on UV attitudes and behaviors. Health Promot Int 2015;30:397–410. PMID: 23669159. doi: 10.1093/heapro/dat031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Health Canada. Guidelines for Tanning Salon Owners, Operators and Users. Ottawa, ON: Health Canada, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/alt_formats/hecs-sesc/pdf/psp-psp/ccrpb-bpcrpcc/2014_guidelines_tanning_salon_owners_operators_users.pdf (Accessed September 3, 2014).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Canadian Cancer Society. Indoor Tanning, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/live-well/sun-and-uv/indoor-tarming/?region=on (Accessed August 28, 2014).Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Canadian Dermatology Association. Indoor Tanning: Indoor Tanning Is Out, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.dermatology.ca/progranis-resources/pro-grams/sap/indoor-tarming/ (Accessed August 28, 2014).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kirsner RS, Wilkinson JD, Ma F, Pacheco H, Federman DG. The association of medicare health care delivery systems with stage at diagnosis and survival for patients with melanoma. Arch Dermatol 2005;141:753–57. PMID: 15967922. doi: 10.1001/archderm.l41.6.753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    From L, Marrett L, Rosen C, Zwall C, Johnston M, Bak K, et al. Screening for Skin Cancer. Toronto: Cancer Care Ontario, Program in Evidence-based Care, 2007. Available at: https://doi.org/www.cancercare.on.ca/common/pages/UserFile.aspx?serverId=6&path=/File%20Database/CCO%20Files/PEBC/pebc15-1s.pdf (Accessed September 6, 2014).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    McWhirter JE, Hoffman-Goetz L. Visual images for patient skin self-examination and melanoma detection: A systematic review of published studies. J Am Acad Dermatol 2013;69:47–55.e9. PMID: 23474227. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2013.01.031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Canadian Cancer Society. Signs and Symptoms of Melanoma, 2014. Available at: https://doi.org/www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/skin-melanoma/signs-and-symptoms/?region=on (Accessed August 28, 2014).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Chow EY, Searles GE. The amazing vanishing Canadian dermatologist: Results from the 2006 Canadian Dermatology Association member survey. J Cutan Med Surg 2010;14:71–79. PMID: 20338122. doi: 10.2310/7750.2010.09025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Boslaugh SE. Health Care Systems around the World: A Comparative Guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Ltd., 2013; pp. 80, 492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Steinbrook R. Imposing personal responsibility for health. N Engl J Med 2006;355:753–56. PMID: 16928991. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp068141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Chandler D, Munday R. A Dictionary of Media and Communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011; p. 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations