Consultations with Young People on Skin Cancer Prevention Behaviours

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Consultations with Young People on Skin Cancer Prevention Behaviours

Published in 01st of March 2019


Author: Deirdre Fullerton (Insights Health and Social Research) and Sheena Mc Grellis (Independent Consultant)

Publisher: National Cancer Control Programme – Cancer Prevention Function Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Date: 2019

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Government

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultations With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Skin Cancer, Prevention, Health Promotion, Young People

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Just under 13,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually in Ireland. This is twice the number compared to 10 years ago and is projected to more than double again by 2045. Yet most skin cancers could be prevented by protecting skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and not using sunbeds. The Healthy Ireland National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan aims to tackle the rising incidence of skin cancer, increasing awareness and engaging people in UV protective behaviours such as protecting skin from the sun and not using sunbeds.

Exposure to UV radiation during childhood is particularly harmful. UV exposure during the first 10– 15 years of life makes a disproportionately large contribution to lifetime risk of skin cancer. Severe sunburn during childhood  is associated with a 2-4 times higher risk of developing melanoma in later life. Yet it has been found nearly 90% of 10- to 17-year-olds said they have experienced sunburn in their lifetime.

With such background knowledge, the NCCP felt it was important to facilitate a separate consultation with young people from the Irish Traveller community to gain a greater understanding of their attitudes and behaviours in relation to three areas of interest: skin care in the sun; the use of sunbeds; and the promotion of health messages. This information will inform the development of more targeted health promotion for the Traveller community.