Use of specialised dermatologist care by person at risk of skin cancer

When it comes to skin cancer, it is a sign of caring for one’s health if people behave in a certain way, in particular if they stay in the sun for safe periods of time, avoid suntanning in sunbeds and use sunscreens. It is also a sign of interest if people visit a specialist physician when in doubt about skin marks or changes in skin condition.

The Institute for Evaluations and Social Analyses (INESAN) conducted a survey in July 2015 with the title “Evaluation of Effectiveness of Educational and Social Campaigns”, focusing on efforts geared towards reducing the risk of developing skin cancer. As part of the research, trained interviewers made a total of 1,110 in-person interviews with respondents. The respondents aged 18 to 64 were included in the sample using the quota technique. The sample represents the basic population in terms of gender, age, size of the place of residence, and region. The selection was designed using the current data from the Czech Statistical Office.

The research results indicate that a part of the interviewees (5 %) declare that they knowingly act in a risky manner. With regard to the research topic, this means frequent visits to solaria and repeated intensive suntanning. Furthermore, the respondents who take the risk monitor their health to a greater degree than others, which is exibited shows among other things in a higher percentage of persons who see their dermatologist regularly. Of the respondents who visit skin specialists, 18 % are those who visit solaria often and 13 % are those who visit solaria occasionally or rarely; by contrast, 6 % of those respondents who never go to solaria see a dermatologist.

Graph: Visit to a dermatologist in the last year (based on the intensity of using solaria)

The above findings also illustrate that the majority of the interviewees (82%) do not consult a dermatologist on their health despite declaring risky behaviour. With that being said, it is apparent that those interviewees realise the risk of their behaviour, as four-fifths (83 %) estimate that the risk of them developing skin cancer is high. Men (89 %) prevail over women (67%) whileand younger respondents aged up to 30 prevail (87 %).
Last but not least, the research shows that interviewees’ attitude to their own health is influenced by long-term patterns, i.e. regular visits to solaria or repeated tanning. By contrast, random episodes such as one-off sunburns do not influence the attention one pays to their health or the frequency of seeing a dermatologist.