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 — even melanoma. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to prevent skin cancer or detect it early on.

This May, 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 community.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage families to adopt good habits together, like wearing sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher 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

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month! Take these steps to protect yourself from #SkinCancer:

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of #SkinCancer. Learn more:

#DYK? #SkinCancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. Learn more:

Is indoor tanning safer than tanning in the sun? The answer is no. Find out why:

You can protect yourself from #SkinCancer by doing regular skin self-exams. Learn how:

Be cool and wear your shades – UV rays can hurt your eyes. Get more tips to keep your eyes healthy:

Skin cancer affects people of all ages, including older adults. Get the facts:

Health Tip: Put sunscreen on 30 minutes before you go outside to help prevent #SkinCancer. For more tips:

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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 organization's 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.

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