Skin Cancer Prevention: Behavioral Counseling

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Systematic Review

Source: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Last Reviewed: March 2018

Workgroups: Cancer Workgroup

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends counseling people with fair skin — specifically, adults age 24 and younger, adolescents, children, and parents of young children with fair skin — to minimize their sun exposure in order to reduce their skin cancer risk. USPSTF recommends selectively offering this counseling to people who are older than 24 years since evidence indicates the benefit is small. In addition, USPSTF found insufficient evidence to assess whether the benefits of counseling adults about skin self-exams to prevent skin cancer outweigh the harms.

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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. (2018). Final update summary: skin cancer prevention: behavioral counseling. Retrieved from