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Lifetime Risk of Skin Cancer in Surfers


A study done in Australia in 2016 recorded the lifetime prevalence of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC, or basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) and melanoma in 1,348 surfers. They also recorded the risk for competitive surfers (who likely surf more hours during the peak sun of the day) and recreational surfers (such as people who go out after work).

Here is what they found:

--NMSC competitive surfers 16.5%

--NMSC recreational surfers 11.4%

--melanoma in both types of surfers 1.4%

This study was done in Australia, but we could probably reasonably apply it to our behaviors here by trying to surf in the early morning or late evening and making sure to wear protective clothing (wetsuits or rashguards) on the body and sunscreen on the face, neck, ears, and scalp.

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