Knowledge and Attitudes of Cypriots on Melanoma Prevention: Is there a Public Health Concern?

Demetra Kyprianou, Iris Charalambidou, Oluwaseun Famojuro, Hongmei Wang, Dejun Su, Paraskevi A. Farazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. It is the eighth most common cancer in males and the tenth in females in Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean with a high ultraviolet (UV) index. Cyprus is expected to be strongly affected by climate change and consequently, melanoma will likely become an increasing public health problem. Melanoma prevention is possible; however, it is unknown if people living in Cyprus are aware of melanoma and prevention methods. To this end, we used a validated survey to evaluate the level of melanoma knowledge and factors associated with it in the Cypriot population. Methods: We conducted a 47-item survey with sections on demographics, knowledge of melanoma and risk factors, attitudes toward relevant health practices, and protective behaviors among six hundred Cypriot residents from October 2015 to April 2016. Results: Our results revealed that only 59% of participants check their skin for moles, 87% protect their skin from the sun during summer holidays, and 57% do not take measures to protect their skin from the sun during non-holiday periods. Protective behavior was positively associated with educational level (P=0.016) and district of residence (P<0.0001). Melanoma knowledge was positively associated with education level (P=0.002) and district of residence (P=0.004). Level of Concern was positively associated with age (P=0.026) and education level (P=0.041). Conclusions: There are gaps in melanoma knowledge and prevention practices in the study population. Further education on melanoma and its prevention should be specifically targeted to individuals of lower education levels as well as teenagers, such that protective behaviors for melanoma are adopted early in life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number53
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Cyprus
  • Melanoma
  • climate change
  • knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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