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Preventing Skin Cancer Among Staff and Guests at Seaside Hotels

Journal of Cancer Education
Pablo García-Montero, Nuria Blázquez-Sánchez, Francisco Rivas-Ruíz, José Francisco Millán-Cayetano, Inés Fernández-Canedo, Magdalena de Troya-Martín
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Beach users and outdoor workers in resort areas are major risk groups for skin cancer, and therefore seaside hotels constitute a strategic area in which to conduct awareness-raising campaigns and interventions. The main aim of the present study is to describe habits, attitudes and knowledge related to sun exposure, the sunburn events experienced and potentially malignant skin lesions observed among hotel staff and guests recruited during a skin cancer prevention campaign at seaside hotels in the western Costa del Sol (southern Spain). This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at four seaside hotels in the western Costa del Sol. An 8-day awareness-raising campaign on skin cancer was conducted for hotel guests and staff, who were invited to complete a questionnaire about their habits, attitudes and knowledge regarding photoprotection, and to receive a comprehensive skin examination. The questionnaire on habits, attitudes and knowledge related to sun exposure was completed by 542 participants. The most common photoprotection practice was the use of sunglasses (79.3%). Potentially dangerous lesions were identified in 39 persons (14%). In addition, 94.0% reported having gained new knowledge, 89.6% had changed their attitudes towards sun tanning and 94.7% intended to improve their photoprotection practices in the future. Seaside hotels are an optimal scenario for conducting studies aimed at skin cancer prevention and reduction. Further studies should be carried out in other geographical areas to confirm our results, to evaluate the costs and benefits of such interventions and determine their long-term impact on health.

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