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Prevalence of Sun Protection, Skin Self-Examination and Skin Cancer Screening Behaviors and Practices Among Medical Students In Tirana, Albania with Family History For Skin Cancer


Journal: European Medical, Health and Pharmaceutical Journal
ISSN 1804-5804

Volume: 4;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Skin cancer | Selfexamination | Cancer risk

Introduction Cutaneous malignant melanoma prevalence, incidence and mortality rates are increasing in white populationsworldwide more rapidly than any other cancer site (American Cancer Society, 2006). Despite the potential importance ofregular skin selfexamination and promotion of selfprotectionpractices, little is known about the prevalence of thesepractices in medical students in Albanian population.Methods This is a descriptive, quantitative crosssectionalstudy. In this study were included a sample of 150 individualschosen among the students of Faculty of Medicine based on their family history for skin cancer. This study was started onOctober the 3rd and finished on November the 12th. Subjects had to fill in a structured, selfadministeredquestionnaire.All participants lived within Republic of Albania but at the time of the study were students in University of Tirana, Facultyof Medicine.Results In this study that we conducted we included 150 individuals supposed to have a risk for skin cancer based on theirfamily history. 200 individuals were approached for participation. Of these, 150 individuals returned questionnaire data,yielding a response rate of 75% among eligible, successfully contacted participants. The mean age of the sample was20.05 years (Std. Dev. = 0.925), with males (22%) and females (78%) represented unequally, because the genderconfiguration of the faculty itself has gender disparities with more than 80% females and only 20% male students. Themajority of the sample was born in city or town (85.3%), 14.7% was born in a village. In terms of income level, 79.3% ofparticipants had a medium income family background, 15.3% high income and 5.3% had a low income level familybackground. Conclusion It is important for those individuals with family history for skin cancer (which inherently indicatesrisk for skin cancer) to develop selfexaminationand SSE behaviours and practices in order to have a protection and atleast an early detection (if onset) of the different forms of Melanoma. The results of this study provide some guide as tothe key areas or 'hot spots' on which to focus attention when designing supportive care interventions for melanomasurvivors and those at high risk of skin cancer.
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