Document Detail

Public awareness regarding UV risks and vitamin D--the challenges for UK skin cancer prevention campaigns.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16624385     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Since 1970s, incidence rates for malignant melanoma have been among the fastest rising of all cancers in the UK. Compared to other cancers, melanoma affects disproportionately more young people, and non-melanoma skin cancers are the most commonly diagnosed, with over 100,000 new cases estimated in the UK annually. Government targets to reduce skin cancer incidence have led working groups and prevention campaigns to be set up in the belief that moderating UV exposure will help. An increased awareness of skin cancer has clearly played a role in curbing mortality from the disease, but translating knowledge into behaviour change in this context is a slow and complex process, and campaigns need to be sustained if they are to impact on incidence. A growing body of literature suggesting a cancer protective role for vitamin D and sun exposure presents further challenges for skin cancer prevention campaigns, no more so than when exaggerated claims for the health benefits of sunbathing make the media spotlight. The UK population tend to need little encouragement to make the most of sunshine, and this is especially true for the younger generation who most need to take care. Public health messages to avoid the midday sun, not to burn and to protect children should not adversely affect outdoor activity or population vitamin D levels, but it is important that they are targeted to those most at risk and are consistent. More research is required to establish optimal levels of vitamin D and how to safely achieve them in a heterogeneous population. In the meantime, hasty alterations of public health messages are likely to prove counterproductive.
Sara Hiom
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2006-02-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Progress in biophysics and molecular biology     Volume:  92     ISSN:  0079-6107     ISO Abbreviation:  Prog. Biophys. Mol. Biol.     Publication Date:  2006 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-06-12     Completed Date:  2006-09-08     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401233     Medline TA:  Prog Biophys Mol Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  161-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Cancer Research UK, 61 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude to Health
Environmental Exposure / prevention & control,  statistics & numerical data
Great Britain / epidemiology
Health Behavior
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
Health Promotion / organization & administration*
Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*,  prevention & control*
Risk Assessment / methods
Risk Factors
Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*,  prevention & control*
Ultraviolet Rays*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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