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A content analysis of news coverage of skin cancer prevention and detection, 1979-2002
Unformatted Document Text:  Skin cancer news coverage 14 media’s preference for the unusual (Gans, 1980, 1979; Tuchman, 1978) . There was an average of 7.39 skin cancer stories per year that were not about celebrities, research, or policy (s.d. = 5.5). Skin cancer prevention and detection in relation to treatment, and causes Despite the importance of safe sun practices for reducing skin cancer incidence, prevention was discussed in only 32.2% (283 of 880) of skin cancer stories. While detection/diagnosis was discussed less often than prevention (25.2% or 228 of 880), both treatment (47.3% or 416 of 880) and causes (61.8% or 544 of 880) were discussed more often. Skin cancer prevention did not receive any attention until 1982-1983, when Nancy Reagan had a basal cell carcinoma removed from her upper lip. The former first lady vowed to avoid the sun in the future. During the same time period, the FDA announced regulations on indoor tanning, and these articles suggested that skin cancer could be prevented by avoiding indoor tanning beds. Both Ronald and Nancy Reagans’ experiences with skin cancer prompted public discussion about skin cancer prevention. In 1985, Reagan signed a proclamation designating a national skin cancer prevention and detection week. Figure 3 charts media coverage of skin cancer prevention, detection/diagnosis, treatment, and causes from 1979-2202. Figure 3: Media coverage of skin cancer prevention, detection/diagnoses, treatment, and causes over time .00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 19 79 -1 98 0 19 81 -1 98 2 19 83 -1 98 4 19 85 -1 98 6 19 87 -1 98 8 19 89 -1 99 0 19 91 -1 99 2 19 93 -1 99 4 19 95 -1 99 6 19 97 -1 99 8 19 99 -2 00 0 20 01 -2 00 2 prevention detection/diagnoses treatment causes

Authors: Stryker, Jo. and Solky, Benjamin.
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Skin cancer news coverage
14
media’s preference for the unusual
(Gans, 1980, 1979; Tuchman, 1978)
. There was an average
of 7.39 skin cancer stories per year that were not about celebrities, research, or policy (s.d. = 5.5).
Skin cancer prevention and detection in relation to treatment, and causes
Despite the importance of safe sun practices for reducing skin cancer incidence,
prevention was discussed in only 32.2% (283 of 880) of skin cancer stories. While
detection/diagnosis was discussed less often than prevention (25.2% or 228 of 880), both
treatment (47.3% or 416 of 880) and causes (61.8% or 544 of 880) were discussed more often.
Skin cancer prevention did not receive any attention until 1982-1983, when Nancy Reagan had a
basal cell carcinoma removed from her upper lip. The former first lady vowed to avoid the sun
in the future. During the same time period, the FDA announced regulations on indoor tanning,
and these articles suggested that skin cancer could be prevented by avoiding indoor tanning
beds. Both Ronald and Nancy Reagans’ experiences with skin cancer prompted public
discussion about skin cancer prevention. In 1985, Reagan signed a proclamation designating a
national skin cancer prevention and detection week. Figure 3 charts media coverage of skin
cancer prevention, detection/diagnosis, treatment, and causes from 1979-2202.
Figure 3: Media coverage of skin cancer prevention, detection/diagnoses, treatment,
and causes over time
.00
10.00
20.00
30.00
40.00
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60.00
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79
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98
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81
-1
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-1
98
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85
-1
98
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87
-1
98
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19
89
-1
99
0
19
91
-1
99
2
19
93
-1
99
4
19
95
-1
99
6
19
97
-1
99
8
19
99
-2
00
0
20
01
-2
00
2
prevention
detection/diagnoses
treatment
causes


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