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ISRN Dermatology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 325281, 7 pages
Research Article

Perceptions and Portrayals of Skin Cancer among Cultural Subgroups

1North Carolina A&T State University, USA
2University of Tennessee, USA
3Southern Connecticut State University, USA

Received 21 November 2013; Accepted 16 December 2013; Published 28 January 2014

Academic Editors: M. Alaibac and E. Nagore

Copyright © 2014 Stephanie Kelly et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Health communication scholars have a responsibility to be certain that both healthcare practitioners and government agencies accurately communicate health information to the public. In order to carry out this duty, health communication scholars must assess how messages are being received and if they are being received at all by the public. This paper details a two part study which assesses this phenomenon within the context of skin cancer. Study 1 utilized 29 in depth qualitative interviews to identify subcultures among college students whose communication puts them at risk for skin cancer by encouraging poor sun exposure behaviors. The results indicate that farmers, African Americans, and individuals who regularly participate in outdoor athletics are at risk groups. Study 2 reports a content analysis of the known population of skin cancer Public Service Announcements (PSAs) available via the internet in 2013. The aforementioned groups were not present in any of the PSAs. Detailed results and implications are discussed.