Behavioral factors of patients before and after diagnosis with melanoma: A cohort study - Are sun-protection measures being implemented?

Elizabeth Soto, Heidi Lee, Rao N. Saladi, Yossi Gerson, Sridevi Manginani, Kevin Lam, Andrea N. Persaud, Robert Wong, Doru T. Alexandrescu, Joshua L. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Melanoma is the deadliest form of all skin cancers and is highly linked to sun-related behavior in patients. However, sun-protection behavior to prevent melanoma in this population has been shown to be inadequate to date. The objective of this study was to compare changes in sun protection habit before and after patients' diagnosis with malignant melanoma. The study also seeks patients' advice on how to improve public education on melanoma prevention. A retrospective survey study was conducted on 68 respondents of patients diagnosed with melanoma from six different dermatologic practices in various boroughs of New York and Long Island in the state of New York by telephone interviews. There was a significant positive change in patients' sun-protection behavior after they were diagnosed with melanoma. Various methods of sun protection, such as avoiding sun exposure, applying and reapplying sunscreen, and wearing protective clothing were practiced more frequently after diagnosis. In addition, the frequency of sunbathing decreased drastically. Most patients were aware about the dangers of sun exposure before their diagnosis. They, however, did not feel the need to adopt sun-protection measures before their diagnosis. Respondents advised that education on dangers to excess sun exposure should be provided at an early age through multiple venues. The study reflected that 71% of diagnosed patients who completed the survey were informed about sun protection before their diagnosis. Many patients did not follow strict guidelines to prevent sun damage as shown by their behaviors before diagnosis. Diagnosis of the disease was apparently the main motivating factor to initiate challenging behavioral changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior factors
  • Campaign
  • Cohort study
  • Education
  • Melanoma
  • Preventative measures


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