Educating Patients on Skin Cancer Prevention

On October 10, 2017, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) posted a draft recommendation statement on education about skin cancer prevention.

On October 10, 2017, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) posted a draft recommendation statement on education about skin cancer prevention.

The USPSTF recommends that clinicians provide counseling on sun protection behaviors to parents of children with fair skin beginning when the child is 6 months old. This counseling should extend to young adults with fair skin up to age 24.

For adults over 24 years old with fair skin, the Task Force recommends clinicians consider the individual’s risks for skin cancer in their decision to provide counseling.

In addition, the USPSTF found that there is not enough evidence to determine if counseling adults about skin self-exams is beneficial or harmful.

All patients at risk for skin cancer should be advised to use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and avoid tanning beds.

More research is needed to determine counseling of patients with other skin types, as well as the benefits and harms of counseling about skin self-examination, according to the USPSTF.

The draft recommendations were posted for public comment.