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May Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

American Academy of Dermatology

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma.

The good news? Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to prevent skin cancer or detect it early on.

Make a difference: Spread the word about strategies for preventing skin cancer and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

How can Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month make a difference?

We can use this month to raise awareness about skin cancer and help people take action to prevent or detect it, both at home and in the larger community.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage families to adopt good habits together, like wearing sunscreen and limiting their time in the sun.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to teach kids about the harm of UV radiation and why it’s important to protect yourself.
  • Identify youth leaders in your community who can talk to their peers about taking steps to prevent skin cancer.
  • Partner with a local hospital, state fair, or similar organization to host a skin cancer screening event.

How can I help spread the word?

We’ve made it easier for you to make a difference. This toolkit is full of ideas to help you take action today. For example:

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Get the Word Out

  Sample Tweets

Q. What is the main cause of skin cancer? A. Being exposed to UV radiation from the sun. Learn more: http://1.usa.gov/11bdfkS.

Did you know? Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. Learn how to protect your skin: http://1.usa.gov/1jCNVfY.

Want to learn more about skin cancer? Check out this short presentation from Medline Plus: http://1.usa.gov/l9Fvbl

Go the extra step: Protect yourself from #skincancer by doing a skin self-exam. Learn how: http://1.usa.gov/prJMNR

Be cool and wear your shades – UV rays can hurt your eyes. Get more tips for healthy eyes: http://1.usa.gov/lgkLhw

Skin cancer affects people of all ages, including older adults. Learn how and why: http://1.usa.gov/jt7vYY

Health Tip: Put sunscreen on 30 minutes before you go outside to help prevent #skincancer.

  E-Cards

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) E-cards

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Get Involved

Take action to raise awareness about skin cancer prevention and detection.

  1. Post skin safety tips near frequently used exits so members and employees of your organization can read them before stepping out into the sun.
  2. Send a memo with vacation tips to your members. Encourage them to pack sunscreen, wear hats, and avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  3. Host a tree-planting event. Ask your organization’s leaders to plant trees around the building so members and employees can enjoy the outdoors while staying in the shade. Consider teaming up with local environmental organizations for cross-promotion.
  4. Ask a local professional (such as a dermatologist, registered nurse, or public health official) to demonstrate how to check skin regularly for warning signs of skin cancer.
  5. Find a free skin cancer screening event near you.

Adapted from the American Academy of Dermatology.
For more information and materials, contact the American Academy of Dermatology at mediarelations@aad.org

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