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Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia

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CASTILHO, Ivan Gagliardi; SOUSA, Maria Aparecida Alves  and  LEITE, Rubens Marcelo Souza. Photoexposure and risk factors for skin cancer: an evaluation of behaviors and knowledge among university students. An. Bras. Dermatol. [online]. 2010, vol.85, n.2, pp.173-178. ISSN 0365-0596.

BACKGROUND: Skin cancer is the most common neoplasm in Brazil. It is extremely important to understand the attitudes that influence protection from and exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays in order to prevent this clinical condition. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate photoexposure and photoprotection habits and knowledge of risk factors for skin cancer, with the purpose of describing behavioral patterns of university students in relation to the effects of the sun. METHODS: Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 368 students, aged 20-29 years, from courses in the areas of Medicine, Physical Education, Law and Social Communication, in a private education institution in Taguatinga-DF.. RESULTS: The daily use of photoprotector was significantly higher among women. The use of tanning beds was low (3.5%), and was mentioned only by women. The application of sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) equal to or greater than 15 was reported by 278 students. In general, over 90% of the students believe in the association between ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer. Nevertheless, only 43.5% believe in genetics as a risk factor. Among those who reject genetics as a risk factor for skin cancer, 86.2% are Human Sciences students (Law and Social Communication). CONCLUSION: Results may help the establishment of individual and collective preventive measures, helping to avoid skin lesions.

Keywords : Students; Risks Factors; Skin Neoplasms; Sunscreening Agents; Ultraviolet Rays.

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