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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 5 the realm of health behavior and health outcomes, testing effects on breast cancer incidence (Corbett & Mori, 1999) , drunk driving (Yanovitzky & Bennett, 1999) , mammography utilization (Yanovitzky & Blitz, 2000; Southwell, Hornik, Fan, Yanovitzky, & Lazili, 2000) , cocaine use (Fan & Holway, 1994) , binge drinking (Yanovitzky & Stryker, 2001) , and marijuana use (Stryker, in press) . In sum, evidence is accumulating that news media messages affect both prevention and detection health behaviors (Viswanath & Finnegan, 2002; Yanovitzky & Stryker, 2001; Pierce & Gilpin, 2001; Yanovitzky & Blitz, 2000; Southwell et al., 2000; Yanovitzky & Bennett, 1999; Corbett & Mori, 1999; Fan & Holway, 1994; Soumerai et al., 1992; Brown & Potosky, 1990; Jones et al., 1980; Fink et al., 1978; Cates, Grimes, Ory, & Tyler, 1977) . It is therefore critical that we understand how and to what extent the news media discuss primary and secondary prevention in the context of disease. Skin cancer represents a unique opportunity to analyze media attention to prevention, because the vast majority of skin cancer is preventable, and is almost always curable if detected early. Skin Cancer Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the United States, affecting approximately 1 million Americans every year (National Cancer Institute, 2002) . Approximately one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime (Rigel, Friedman, & Kopf, 1996b) . The three most common skin cancers are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal and squamous cell carcinoma are commonly categorized along with other skin cancers as nonmelanoma skin cancer. While basal cell and squamous cell cancers are highly treatable, melanoma skin cancer is more often fatal if not detected early. In the 1930s, the lifetime risk of melanoma in the US was 1 in 1566; by 1996, the risk was 1 in 87

Authors: Stryker, Jo. and Solky, Benjamin.
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background image
Skin cancer news coverage
5
the realm of health behavior and health outcomes, testing effects on breast cancer incidence
(Corbett & Mori, 1999)
, drunk driving
(Yanovitzky & Bennett, 1999)
, mammography
utilization
(Yanovitzky & Blitz, 2000; Southwell, Hornik, Fan, Yanovitzky, & Lazili,
2000)
, cocaine use
(Fan & Holway, 1994)
, binge drinking
(Yanovitzky & Stryker, 2001)
, and
marijuana use
(Stryker, in press)
.
In sum, evidence is accumulating that news media messages affect both prevention and
detection health behaviors
(Viswanath & Finnegan, 2002; Yanovitzky & Stryker, 2001;
Pierce & Gilpin, 2001; Yanovitzky & Blitz, 2000; Southwell et al., 2000; Yanovitzky &
Bennett, 1999; Corbett & Mori, 1999; Fan & Holway, 1994; Soumerai et al., 1992; Brown
& Potosky, 1990; Jones et al., 1980; Fink et al., 1978; Cates, Grimes, Ory, & Tyler, 1977)
.
It is therefore critical that we understand how and to what extent the news media discuss
primary and secondary prevention in the context of disease. Skin cancer represents a unique
opportunity to analyze media attention to prevention, because the vast majority of skin cancer
is preventable, and is almost always curable if detected early.
Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the United States, affecting approximately 1
million Americans every year
(National Cancer Institute, 2002)
. Approximately one in five
Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime
(Rigel, Friedman, & Kopf,
1996b)
. The three most common skin cancers are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and
squamous cell carcinoma. Basal and squamous cell carcinoma are commonly categorized along
with other skin cancers as nonmelanoma skin cancer. While basal cell and squamous cell
cancers are highly treatable, melanoma skin cancer is more often fatal if not detected early. In
the 1930s, the lifetime risk of melanoma in the US was 1 in 1566; by 1996, the risk was 1 in 87


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