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Keywords:

  • basal cell carcinoma;
  • actinic keratoses;
  • public knowledge;
  • sunlight;
  • sunscreens

ABSTRACT

Objective  As the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is reported to be increasing in Europe, the objective of this survey was to establish the general population's awareness and knowledge of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and actinic keratoses (AK) within five European countries.

Methods  A total of 1500 individuals from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Spain were randomly selected to participate in the study. In a 10-minute structured telephone interview respondents answered questions on skin cancer and BCC and AK.

Results  Overall, 46% of respondents were concerned about skin cancer. Even though the majority of respondents believed there was a correlation between skin cancer and the sun or overexposure to sunlight, nearly a third of the surveyed population rarely or never used sunscreen when outdoors. In general there was a low level of awareness about BCC and AK, with only 22% and 6% of respondents, respectively, being aware of the conditions.

Conclusion  There is a need to increase the awareness of skin cancer and safe sun practices among the European population.