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Skin Cancer Prevention Month

Resources for your patients

Just in time for the start of summer—when people spend significant amounts of time in the sun swimming, boating, barbecuing or reading on the beach—comes May’s Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) offers a variety of resources that you can use to educate your patients about skin cancer. The group’s Spot Skin Cancer public education campaign includes a website at where you can download a variety of materials to give to your patients, even if you are not a dermatologist. Materials include:

Educational handouts. The site offers 13 general education handouts on topics such as how to select a sunscreen, a skin cancer fact sheet, how to spot skin cancer and FAQs about
sun safety.

Children’s materials. Featuring a smiling giraffe with a sun hat, the 15 handouts are designed for kids, anywhere from kindergarten through the teenage years. To engage youngsters, the handouts include not only facts and tips but also games, coloring pages and stickers.

Classroom activities. For teachers, Spot Skin Cancer provides lesson plans and activities for children 8-10 years of age and 11-13 years of age.

Flyers and e-cards. Ten flyers use a variety of different methods, from showcasing top athletes to artistic renderings of the word “skin” to highlight the importance of protecting oneself against skin cancer.

The Skin Cancer Foundation ( offers a long list of bullet point facts about all types of skin cancer as well as facts about indoor tanning, sun damage, treatment costs and skin cancer broken down by men, women, ethnicity and children. Sample facts include:

  • Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
  • Treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers increased by nearly 77% between 1992 and 2006.
  • Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
  • One person dies of melanoma every 57 minutes.
  • Young men account for 40% of melanoma cases, but more than 60% of melanoma deaths.
  • Eleven states now prohibit indoor tanning for minors younger than age 18: Illinois, California, Vermont, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Minnesota, Louisiana, Hawaii, and Delaware.
  • Pediatric melanoma increased by an average of 2% per year from 1973 to 2009.

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