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Do-It-Yourself test can curb skin cancer

A recent thesis presents an easily applied test for preventive health care.

Fair-skinned Scandinavians tend to overexpose themselves to the sun. The curve over new cases of skin cancer rises annually. A simple test of applied light can be used in preventive care. The method was the basis of a doctoral thesis presented at LiU.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a significant risk factor in acquiring skin cancer. Persons who sunburn easily have a pigmentation that affords little protection and should be especially careful to shield themselves.

This time of year the risk is especially high when winter-pale travelers head south to populate the beaches.

Magnus Falk, a district physician who recently earned his PhD in medicine at LiU, shows that an easy-to-use light test can help change tanning attitudes and demonstrate the importance of sun protection.

In the light test, a small area on the back or inner arm is subjected to a series of UV-doses of rising strength. The number and intensity of red patches indicate sensitivity to solar burning. It is a simple DIY test that the individual can self-administer, which means that it can be made available on a wide scale at little cost.


2008-01-22




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Last updated: 2009-06-03