Knowing your risk for skin cancer may limit unhealthy behaviors

Source: Medical Express, February 2022

With the new year underway, many people are looking to improve their health. One way they can do that is to reduce their chance of melanoma by understanding potential risk factors.

A recent Mayo Clinic study published in Dermatologic Surgery examined the role of risk perception in limiting potential behavior that could increase a person’s chance of developing future melanoma. The findings suggest that having a knowledge of skin cancer risk could influence risky behavior, such as tanning bed use.

“We know there is a large increase in the number of young and middle-aged women who are getting melanoma, compared to 40 years ago," says Jerry Brewer, M.D., a Mayo Clinic dermatologist and the lead researcher. “This study demonstrated that individuals who were at higher risk for skin cancer not only had an accurate self-assessment of their risk, but were also unlikely to use a tanning bed within the next year."