USPSTF Draft Recommendation Advises Sun Protection Counseling

Published Online: Thursday, October 12th, 2017
Clinicians should counsel patients with fair skin between the ages of 6 months and 24 years, including the parents of young children with fair skin, on sun protection behaviors, according to a draft recommendation from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). 

Writing in a Task Force Bulletin, the panel noted that  the B-level recommendation to provide counseling "encourages sun protective behaviors. These actions, such as using sunscreen, wearing sun-protective clothing, and avoiding indoor tanning, can help prevent skin cancer later in life.” 

For adults older than age 24, the Task Force recommends clinicians consider the individual’s risks for skin cancer in their decision on whether to provide counseling. 

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation during childhood and adolescence increases the risk of skin cancer later in life. People with fair skin, with freckles, and who sunburn easily are at a higher risk for skin cancer. Other risk factors include a history of sunburns, tanning bed use, and previous skin cancer. 

The Task Force’s draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review has been posted for public comment on the Task Force Web site at Comments can be submitted from October 10, 2017 to November 6, 2017 at 

US Preventive Services Task Force Issues Draft Recommendation Statement on Behavioral Counseling to Prevent Skin Cancer. USPTSF website. file:///Users/chall/Downloads/skin-cancer-screening-draft-rser-news-bulletin%20(1).pdf. Published October 10, 2017. Accessed October 11, 2017. 

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