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31 Days, 31 Ways to Prevent and Detect Melanoma

May 2010

More people are developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than ever before. Melanoma is now the most common cancer in Americans aged 25 – 29 years old. It is the second most common cancer in Americans who are 15 – 29 years old.

That’s why the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) created 31 Days, 31 Ways to Prevent and Detect Melanoma. Each day during the month of May, you will find a tip to help you make healthy choices. Appearing on a May 2010 calendar, these tips cover everything from “Where on the body can you get melanoma?” to “Should I get my vitamin D from the sun?” and “Are tanning beds safer than the sun?” To find the answers to these questions and more, visit Melanoma Monday.

Melanoma Survivors Have Increased Cancer Risks
If you’ve ever had melanoma, you may want to get skin cancer checkups for life. A recent study of 89,515 melanoma survivors found that the risk of developing another melanoma remains high for years. More than 20 years after the first diagnosis, survivors still had an increased risk. (more)

What’s your “Suntelligence”?
You may know your IQ, but what about your "Suntelligence"? "Suntelligence" measures your attitudes about tanning. It tests how much you know about the sun’s effects on the skin. To discover your "Suntelligence", take the Academy’s "Suntelligence" Survey.

After taking the survey, be sure to find out how your answers compare with those who took this survey earlier this year. For example, are you among the 80% of respondents who are concerned about skin cancer and feel it’s important to protect themselves? To see how your responses compare, visit:

New Survey Ranks the Nation’s Most and Least Sun-Smart Cities (news release)

2010 “Suntelligence: How Sun Smart is Your City?” Fact Sheet

What Dermatologists Tell Their Patients

"Not a month goes by when I don't see someone in their 20s with skin cancer. Invariably, they've been to tanning parlors and they are consumed by guilt."

David J. Leffell, MD, FAAD

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Sun-Kissed or Sunburned?” April 26, 2010

More Information about Melanoma

ABCDEs of Melanoma Detection

Four Types of Melanoma

Risk Factors: Melanoma


May is Melanoma / Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month®

Free Skin Cancer Screening Could Save Your Life
The earlier skin cancer is detected and treated, the better. With early detection and proper treatment, most skin cancers, including melanoma, can be cured. That’s why the American Academy of Dermatology continues to offer free skin cancer screenings. These screenings are free to everyone, and you do not need health insurance.

More than 450 free skin cancer screenings are currently scheduled. Slots fill quickly, so be sure to call and make an appointment. You can find whether a free screening will be in your area by visiting Free Skin Cancer Screening Program.

eCard - Let others know about the free screenings by selecting and sending a free electronic card.

eAlert - Sign up to be notified when a screening is available within a 50-mile radius.

Don’t Fry Day™ is May 28
A day to encourage sun-safe behaviors

Something as simple as wearing a wide-brimmed hat can help reduce the rising rate of skin cancer. By putting on a wide-brimmed hat before you step outdoors, you help reduce your risk. Wear your wide-brimmed hat all day on Friday, May 28, 2010, and you may help reduce someone else’s risk.

A wide-brimmed hat is sure to catch people’s attention. And that’s what the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention (Council) seeks to do on the Friday before Memorial Day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of sun safety. So when someone asks why you’re wearing that hat, be sure to let them know it’s Don’t Fry Day™.

To help you inspire others, the Academy makes its posters and some other materials available at no charge. A few of the sun-safety posters, such as the one shown here, were created specifically for Don’t Fry Day™. You will find these posters at Download Free Materials.

The core message for this year’s Don’t Fry Day™ is that no single step can fully protect you from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. To learn more, visit Don’t Fry Day.

Caring for Mature Skin

Can vitamins give us younger looking skin?
If you’ve walked through any store aisle stocked with skin care products lately, you may believe the answer must be yes. But the truth is, scientists are still trying to answer this question. In a recent study, researchers pored over the currently published scientific literature. They found evidence to support the potential role of vitamins A, C, E, and B3. Mind you, this does not mean every skin care product that contains one or more of these vitamins works, but the potential is there.

One of the more encouraging findings is that retinol, a form of vitamin A found in many anti-aging skin care products, appears effective. While retinol is found in products available without a prescription, there is one caveat. You should consult a dermatologist before using a product that contains retinol. Side effects can occur.

Researchers also uncovered 2 new studies that suggest taking high doses of vitamin E may increase your risk of developing the most common type of skin cancer. To learn more, including what one dermatologist recommends, read New Study Evaluates Effectiveness of Vitamins for the Treatment of Sun-Damaged Skin.


Next Month - Facing off vs. Age Spots and Wrinkles


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