Low rates of skin cancer screening found among US volunteer firefighters
A recent cross-sectional study conducted among 552 volunteer firefighters in the United States has revealed a low prevalence of skin cancer screening practices within this group despite the higher risk of melanoma incidence and mortality among firefighters due to prolonged UV radiation exposure.
Only 26.1% of volunteer firefighters reported receiving skin cancer screenings. The study highlights associations between higher screening rates and factors such as sunscreen usage, perceived susceptibility to sunburn, older age, some college education, family history of skin cancer, and a positive correlation between monthly firefighting calls and screening.
Despite these associations, the study revealed that cancer risk perception did not significantly influence the likelihood of undergoing screening. This implies that while individual beliefs about cancer risk might not be a primary factor, awareness and education could still play a critical role in promoting better screening practices.
Shah NN, Steinberg MB, Caban-Martinez AJ, et al. Prevalence and predictors of skin cancer screening among a sample of US volunteer firefighters. Am J Ind Med. 2023;doi: 10.1002/ajim.23524. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37573478.