Self-reported quality of life after skin cancer in young adults

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The Journal of dermatological treatment


INTRODUCTION: Skin cancer incidence is increasing in younger adults. Patient satisfaction and quality of life surveys are limited, and more information is needed on the unique perspectives of these younger patients who may be affected differently. We sought to explore how skin cancer has affected quality of life in younger adults.

METHODS: A self-reported questionnaire was administered to patients with skin cancer aged 20-50 years diagnosed from 2007 to 2008. Quality of life was measured using the Skin Cancer Index (SCI) and Skindex-16 with a transformed scale. Descriptive statistics with standard deviations were calculated.

RESULTS: One-hundred sixty-one patients were identified; 62 completed surveys (38.5%), with 47 patients eligible for inclusion. Forty participants (85%) reported having made lifestyle changes since being diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancers, most commonly habitual use of sunscreen (n = 34; 77.3%). Quality of life was most impacted by worries about their skin cancer (Skindex-16 score 24.5 (34.4 standard deviation)), including their future risk of developing further cancers (58.5 (31.8)).

LIMITATIONS: Limitations include small sample size and possible response bias.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a modest impact on quality of life in young patients with skin cancer based on the Skindex-16 and SCI. Young skin cancer survivors may benefit from patient counseling, which addresses risk assessment and future risk reduction.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Anxiety; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Patient Satisfaction; Quality of Life; Self Report; Skin Neoplasms; Sunscreening Agents; Surveys and Questionnaires

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