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8/9/2013 - Sunscreen still not widely used, Yale study suggests

Only 17 percent of Americans said they regularly apply sunscreen when they go outside.

Whether it's on the beach or during a cookout, most Americans understand the importance of wearing sunscreen in order to protect themselves from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. But based on the findings of a recent report, there are still many people who forego these lotions and sprays despite being affected by certain skin cancers.

Researchers from Yale University recently reported that based on an analysis of individuals who had been diagnosed with melanoma - one of the most common forms of skin cancer - approximately one in four of them said they still didn't use sunscreen. In addition, about 2% said they had visited a tanning salon within the past 12 months.

Sunscreen is not something that people automatically put on whenever they go outside, either. Polling data from the report found that just 17% of participants always used sunscreen protection.

Dermatologists and safety experts note that the importance of sunscreen can't be overestimated and is worth using even when not in direct sunlight. A 2010 study out of St. Louis University School of Medicine found an increased prevalence of skin cancer on the left side of the body, the part of the body that's exposed to sunlight when driving. The findings were based not off of auto insurance claims but medical data for people referred to oncologists seeking treatment.

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