May Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month
American Academy of Dermatology
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.
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 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:
Get the Word Out
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) E-cards
Take action to raise awareness about skin cancer prevention and detection.
- Post skin safety tips near frequently used exits so members and employees of your organization can read them before stepping out into the sun.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.