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The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention Encourages Everyone to Protect Your Skin Today and Every Day
Date:5/13/2009

The Friday Before Memorial Day Is Declared "Don't Fry Day" to Encourage Sun Safety Awareness

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As millions of Americans prepare to enjoy the great outdoors Memorial Day weekend, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention reminds everyone to practice sun-safe behaviors -- pack those wide-brimmed hats in the suitcase. The incidence of melanoma (the most fatal of skin cancers) continues to rise significantly, at a rate faster than any of the seven most common cancers.(1) In an effort to raise awareness about a health issue that is largely preventable: skin cancer, the Council is naming the Friday before Memorial Day Don't Fry Day.

"Many people believe skin cancer occurs after a lifetime of exposure, and yet, melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for young adults 15-29 years of age(2)," says Henry Lim, MD, and Council co-chair. "In the last 30 years, the number of women under age 40 diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma has more than doubled while the squamous cell carcinoma rate has also increased significantly."(3)

"Any change in your skin, whether burned or slightly tanned, is a sign of UV damage," says Drusilla Hufford, Council co-chair. "The good news is: you can protect yourself and your family members from skin cancer's main cause: too much sun. In the same way we teach kids to wear bike helmets, we can also teach them to wear wide-brimmed hats."

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers in the United States. More people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined. Whether from the sun or an artificial light source, ultraviolet radiation is a carcinogen. According to a recent study, in 2006, in the 116 largest (most populous) U.S. cities, there were, on average, more tanning salons than there were Starbucks(R) coffee shops.(4)

Here are some simple ways to be safe in the sun. Remember, Slip, Slop, Slap(R)...and Wrap(5) and plan activities away from the midday sun:

  • Slip on a shirt;
  • Slop on sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher);
  • Slap on a hat; and
  • Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them from ultraviolet light.

For more information, including additional statistics and other resources, visit the Council's site: http://www.skincancerprevention.org/. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention is the united voice of 45 groups dedicated to reducing skin cancer morbidity and mortality in the U.S. Council members represent some of the nation's premier researchers, clinicians and advocates for melanoma and skin cancer prevention.

(1) LAG Ries, D Melbert, M Krapcho, A Mariotto, BA Miller, EJ Feuer, L Clegg, MJ Horner, N Howlader, MP Eisner, M Reichman, BK Edwards (eds). National Cancer Institute, Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2004: http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2004/.

(2) U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. "Cancer Epidemiology in Older Adolescents & Young Adults," Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results AYA Monograph (2007): 53-63.

(3) LJ Christenson, TA Borrowman, CM Vachon, MM Tollefson, CC Otley, AL Weaver, RK Roenigk. "Incidence of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas in a population younger than 40 years," JAMA (2005): 294: 681-690.

(4) Katherine D. Hoerster, Rebecca L. Garrow, Joni A. Mayer, Elizabeth J. Clapp, John R. Weeks, Susan I. Woodruff, James F. Sallis, Donald J. Slymen, Minal R. Patel, Stephanie A. Sybert. "Density of Indoor Tanning Facilities in 116 Large U.S. Cities," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, no. 36 (March 2009): 3, 243-246: http://www.ajpm-online.net/article/PIIS0749379708009756/abstract.

(5) Slip, Slop, Slap(R) is a registered trademark of the American Cancer Society.


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SOURCE The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention
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