USPSTF Draft Statement Recommends Sun-Safe Behavioral Counseling for More Fair-Skinned Youth — Physician’s First Watch

October 11, 2017

USPSTF Draft Statement Recommends Sun-Safe Behavioral Counseling for More Fair-Skinned Youth

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has expanded the age range of patients who should receive behavioral counseling to reduce their risk for skin cancer.

In a draft recommendation, the group now recommends that fair-skinned patients aged 6 months to 24 years and their caregivers be advised about reducing their exposure to ultraviolet radiation (grade B recommendation). Previously, the task force recommended behavioral counseling beginning at age 10 years.

Clinicians may selectively counsel older fair-skinned patients based on their existing risk factors since the net benefit is likely small (grade C). Patients at higher risk include those with a history of sunburns or tanning bed use, freckling, a compromised immune system, and more nevi, including atypical nevi.

The group declined to make a recommendation for or against skin self-examination given the mixed evidence (grade I).

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