For those who have been diagnosed with melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – taking proper measures to protect their skin from harmful UV rays would seem like a top priority. Or maybe not.
In fact, a new National Health Interview Survey has found that avoiding the sun and tanning salons isn’t always a main concern, as 27.3 percent of melanoma survivors never wear sunscreen, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Even more disturbingly, 15.4 percent of former melanoma patients said they either rarely or never stayed in the shade, and 2.1 percent had even tanned at a tanning salon in the past year.
According to a statement by lead author Dr. Anees Chagpar, of Yale University, the data was mind blowing.
The National Cancer Institute estimates 76,690 will be diagnosed with melanoma this year – and ultimately, 9,480 will die from it. Melanoma is a malignant tumor of the melanocytes in the skin, which are responsible for producing the dark pigment, melanin.
While the results of the Yale study were staggering, researchers did find that melanoma survivors were better overall than other study participants about protecting their skin by staying in the shade or wearing sunscreen, the Los Angeles Times said.
The study’s findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C.