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Comprehensive outreach, prevention education, and skin cancer screening for Utah ski resorts

  • Author(s): Varedi, Amir
  • Secrest, Aaron M
  • Harding, Garrett
  • Maness, Lori
  • Branson, Donna
  • Smith, Kristi
  • Hull, Christopher M
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license
Abstract

Outdoor recreation can lead to substantial sun exposure. Employees of outdoor recreation establishments with extended time outdoors have amplified cumulative exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and an increased risk of skin cancer. The “Sun Safe on the Slopes” program was created by Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah and the Utah Cancer Action Network to address increased UV exposure and skin cancer risk with free skin cancer screenings, outreach, and prevention education to local ski resorts. Herein, we describe the processes and barriers to implementation of a ski resort skin screening and education program and our 5-year report of the experience and screening data. Nine free skin cancer screenings were held at Utah ski resorts between 2011 and 2016, resulting in the presumptive diagnosis of 38 skin cancers (9.6%) in 394 participants. Behavioral data collected from participants indicates suboptimal sun safety practices, including underuse of sunscreen and protective clothing. Ski resort employees who experience sun exposure during peak hours at high altitudes and UV reflection from the snow are at an increased risk of skin cancer. These data indicate a need for emphasis on sun safety education and screening and can serve as a model for future endeavors.

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