To examine skin cancer awareness and behavior in white Hispanic (WH) and white non-Hispanic (WNH) high school students because increasing incidence and delayed diagnosis of skin cancer in the growing Hispanic population in the United States represent an emerging health issue.
Pilot survey study.
A high school in Miami, Florida.
A total of 369 high school students (221 WHs and 148 WNHs) were surveyed in the study.
Main Outcome Measures
Survey data were collected regarding skin cancer knowledge, perceived risk, and sun protection behaviors. Differences between the 2 groups were compared with χ2 tests.
White Hispanic students were more likely to tan deeply (P = .04) but less likely to have heard of (P < .01) or been told how to perform (P < .01) skin self-examination. White Hispanics were less likely to wear sun-protective clothing or to use sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher and reported a greater use of tanning beds. White Hispanic students also thought their chance of developing skin cancer was less than that of WNH students (P < .01), which remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, family history, and skin sensitivity to sun. After adjustment, WHs were 2.5 times more likely than WNHs to have used a tanning bed in the past year. White Hispanics were also 60% less likely to have heard of skin self-examination (P < .01) and 70% less likely than WNHs to have ever been told to perform the examination (P = .03). White Hispanics are about 1.8 and 2 times more likely to never or rarely wear protective clothing (P < .01) and to use sunscreen (P = .01), respectively.
There are disparities in knowledge, perceived risk of skin cancer, and sun-protective behaviors among WH and WNH high school students.