American medical provider perceptions of media coverage of skin cancer and its influence on women under the age of 40: a qualitative study

Open Access
Author:
Nissi, Cassandra Mary
Area of Honors:
Journalism
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Colleen Connolly Ahern, Thesis Supervisor
  • Martin Halstuk, Honors Advisor
  • Martin Halstuk, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • media coverage
  • skin cancer
  • medical provider
  • sunscreen
  • tanning
  • women
Abstract:
Although there is research on coverage of cancer in the media, skin cancer is not touched on as heavily. Furthermore, there is little published research on gaining a better understanding of the perceptions of medical providers who have experience treating and detecting skin cancer. This thesis aims to understand the opinions and perceptions these medical providers have about media coverage of skin cancer and whether or not media coverage influences women under the age of 40. The results of this thesis suggests that medical providers have mixed thoughts about media coverage of skin cancer, but think that it may influence the actions and behaviors of women under the age of 40. Most medical providers agreed that the media coverage of skin cancer is less compared with other cancers, but they believe coverage has improved over the years. To improve media coverage of skin cancer, a public awareness campaign featuring well-known celebrities embracing their natural skin tone and getting skin checks could be beneficial. Additionally, it is a common perception that coverage would be more efficient if there was more specific information and powerful statistics concerning sunscreen and tanning beds.