Skin cancer in the youth population of the United Kingdom

Robertson, Fabienne Marie-Louise and Fitzgerald, Lisa (2017) Skin cancer in the youth population of the United Kingdom. Journal of Cancer Policy, 12 67-71. doi:10.1016/j.jcpo.2017.03.003

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Author Robertson, Fabienne Marie-Louise
Fitzgerald, Lisa
Title Skin cancer in the youth population of the United Kingdom
Journal name Journal of Cancer Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2213-5383
Publication date 2017-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jcpo.2017.03.003
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 12
Start page 67
End page 71
Total pages 5
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Abstract Skin cancer is disproportionately high in the youth population of the United Kingdom, as compared with other cancers, yet it is a topic which so far has received little recognition, subsequently relevant literature is relatively scarce. In the United Kingdom, malignant melanoma is now one of the commonest cancers in those aged 15–34 years. Furthermore, malignant melanoma the 7th most common cancer in men, and 5th most common cancer in women in the United Kingdom in 2013 accounting for 4% of all cancer cases in the United Kingdom. Moreover, skin cancer is currently the fastest growing cancer in the world with a five-fold increase in frequency since the 1970′s resulting in disfigurement and death. This essay explores this skin cancer age-related anomaly through the lens of public health. A scoping review combined with a thematic analysis of literature, identified risk factors including demographic and environmental risk factors within the youth population. Research suggests that 86% of cases could be prevented alleviating the current financial burden of over £100 million spent on managing skin cancer. I therefore suggest a multi primary and secondary prevention approach through education programs, whilst promoting awareness and tanning alternatives targeting both youth and parental populations. A final recommendation involves government incentives to increase sun protective factor (SPF) in creams, and imposing a complete national ban on tanning beds. All these preventions would contribute to lowering skin cancer prevalence in the youth population whilst also alleviating the financial burden of the disease.
Keyword Attitude
Primary prevention
Risk factors
Secondary prevention
Skin neoplasms
Social determinants of health
Vulnerable populations
Young adult
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Public Health Publications
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