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07-12-2015 | Skin cancers | Article

Skin cancer prevention practices among malignant melanoma survivors: a systematic review

Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

Authors: Vinayak K. Nahar, M. Allison Ford, Robert T. Brodell, Javier F. Boyas, Stephanie K. Jacks, Rizwana Biviji-Sharma, Mary A. Haskins, Martha A. Bass

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg



This systematic review was conducted to evaluate and summarize the existing literature on prevalence of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure, sun protection, and screening behaviors among individuals diagnosed with malignant melanoma (MM).


The search was performed in PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ScienceDirect, EMBASE, and ERIC from inception of each database through July 2014. Studies were included if (1) individuals diagnosed with MM were the primary sample, (2) measured UVR exposure, primary and secondary preventive behaviors, (3) original research communication that constitutes an entire set of empirical data, (4) observational design, and (5) English peer-reviewed. Studies were excluded if (1) all of the inclusion criteria were not met and (2) duplicates, conference abstracts, editorials, news, letters to the editor, comments, reviews, feature articles, white papers, and guidelines.


The search resulted in 255 articles that were screened for relevance; however, only 15 articles met all of the inclusion criteria. Most of the studies were cross-sectional (n = 10), used self-administered surveys (n = 8), and were conducted in North America (n = 10). The sample sizes ranged considerably, but were mostly Caucasian (n = 6) and included a higher proportion of women (n = 8). Evidence demonstrated that individuals with MM still engaged in sunbathing, indoor tanning, and reported sunburns. Moreover, survivors reported inadequate levels of both sun protection and skin self-examinations.


The findings highlight the need for intensifying intervention strategies to reduce the risk of new primary MMs in this group. Future research should increase in rigor and include more diverse populations and regions.

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