eISSN: 2084-9893
ISSN: 0033-2526
Dermatology Review/Przegląd Dermatologiczny
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SCImago Journal & Country Rank
2/2019
vol. 106
 
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abstract:
Original article

The assessment of students’ knowledge regarding melanoma and sun-protection habits

Julia Nowowiejska
,
Magdalena Pałdyna
,
Anna Baran
,
Iwona Flisiak

Dermatol Rev/Przegl Dermatol 2019, 106, 159–172
Online publish date: 2019/06/13
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Introduction
Melanoma, a malignant neoplasm, which originates from melanocytes, represents 3% of all malignant skin tumors. The morbidity and mortality are increasing in many countries, what results in a multidisciplinary health problem.

Objective
To assess the knowledge of medical and non-medical faculty students regarding melanoma, its risk factors, prevention and sun protection habits.

Material and methods
In 2016 an anonymous survey was carried out among 277 students, 111 from medical faculties and 166 from non-medical.

Results
In the analyzed group 76% were women and 24% men. The most common Fitzpatrick skin phototypes were II–IV. Sixty-nine percent of responders reported more than one sunburn in the past, 16% only one, 15% no such experience. One responder was diagnosed with melanoma in the past. Most of the students, including all medical students, consider melanoma a malignant neoplasm, while 4% consider it a benign lesion and 4% do not know. According to responders of both faculties, the main melanoma risk factors are: increased exposure to sun (89%), melanoma in family members (82%), and multiple naevi (71%). About 75% of students do not use solaria. Skin lesions that would make medical students see the doctor are irregular shape (92%), naevus enlargement (88%) and irregular color (86%), while features considered non-medical are enlargement (75%), irregular shape (57%), and dark color of naevus (52%).

Conclusions
Almost every responder identified melanoma correctly as a malignant neoplasm, but their awareness regarding its risk factors is insufficient, which contributes to increasing morbidity of this neoplasm. Medical students responded more accurately to questions than non-medical students.

keywords:

melanoma, sun exposure, neoplasm

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