Sun Protection Behavior Following Skin Cancer Resection and Reconstruction

I.J. Veldhuizen, E. Schroen, E.H. Lee, N.R. Kurtansky, S.W. Dusza, R.R.W.J. van der Hulst, A.L. Pusic, M.M. Hoogbergen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is associated with an increased risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Cutaneous surgery can be negatively influenced by UVR, causing delayed wound healing, hyperpigmentation of the scar, and an increased incidence of additional skin cancers. By changing sun protection behavior, these risks can be limited. Therefore, this study evaluates changes in patients' sun protective behavior after Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS). Patients undergoing MMS between December 2017 and November 2019 were included. Patients were asked to complete the FACE-Q Skin Cancer - Sun Protection Behavior checklist before and 3 months and 1 year post-surgery. A total of 125 patients completed the pre-operative and 3-months post-operative checklists, and 89 (71.2%) completed the 1-year post-operative checklist. Reported sun protective behaviors increased post-surgery at all time points (p < 0.001). Patients with a prior history of facial skin cancer demonstrated a larger increase in sun protection behaviors after surgery than patients without a history of facial skin cancer (p = 0.04). Patients with defects located on the ear or scalp demonstrated a lesser increase in sun protection behaviors than patients with defects located in more conspicuous areas as the face (p = 0.02). Our study demonstrates a change in sun protection behavior, with an increase in sun protection behavior over time in patients after MMS. However, more improvement is possible. Targeted counseling can increase sun protection behavior in patients without a history of facial skin cancer and patients with skin cancer located on the ears or scalp.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1401-1406
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number5
Early online date21 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Patient reported outcome
  • Skin cancer
  • Sun protection
  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • Wound healing
  • patient reported outcome
  • skin cancer
  • sun protection
  • ultraviolet radiation
  • wound healing
  • RISK
  • FACE


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