Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Vary, Patricia S.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


Skin cancer is the most common and the most preventable form of cancer. Nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with cumulative exposure to ultraviolet radiation, while melanoma is associated with intense episodes of ultraviolet exposure resulting in sunburns. Numerous risk factors are associated with the development of skin cancer. These include exposure to ultraviolet radiation; phenotypic factors such as skin type, eye and hair color, tendency to bum and tan and having freckles and moles; a personal or family history of skin cancer; and occupational sun exposure. Primary prevention behaviors include applying SPF 15+ sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure, reapplying SPF 15+ sunscreen every 1 V%-2 hours or after swimming or sweating, dressing in protective clothing, using shade limiting exposure during peak sun hours, and avoiding artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation. Secondary prevention behaviors include screening and early detection in combination with education on the primary prevention behaviors. Interventions designed to increase sun protective behaviors have resulted in increased knowledge and attitudes. Skin cancer screenings focus on developing effective strategies for making sun protective behaviors routine and effective. To inform approaches to the prevention and control of skin cancer, this paper will summarize key primary and secondary preventive behavior, highlight primary and secondary prevention programs, and identify key unanswered questions in the area of skin cancer prevention and control.


Includes bibliographical references.


15 unnumbered pages




Northern Illinois University

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