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Study: Doctors Rarely Talk About Sun Protection

6:25 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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Skin cancer is on the rise with more than three million new cases each year. A recent study finds many doctors rarely talk sun protection with their patients.

Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine tracked more than 18 billion patient visits from 1989 to 2010.

"Sunscreens are recommended at less than one in 1,000 of those visits," said Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Dr. Steve Feldman.

The study also found that doctors usually mentioned sunscreen to older patients and recommended it at least to children.

Researchers said the findings are concerning because up to 80 percent of sun damage is believed to happen before age 21. Sunburns during childhood greatly increase the risk for skin cancer.

"What we are really missing is recommending it to people who are younger to prevent skin cancers from ever forming in the first place," said Dr. Feldman.

Researchers say sun protection is especially important for kids and teens because they spend much of their time outside in the sun.

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