May Is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May Is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month

As the month of May brings skin cancer into focus, it’s a great time to increase public understanding of the disease, including its prevalence, approaches to screening and prevention, treatment options, and resources that offer updated skin cancer information throughout the year.

Cancer of the skin is often divided into two categories: non-melanoma and melanoma. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that well over 1 million Americans develop non-melanoma (basal cell or squamous cell) cancers annually. Melanoma, the more-serious form of skin cancer, was expected to be diagnosed in more than 60,000 people in 2008. The ACS also estimated that 11,200 deaths would occur in 2008 from all forms of skin cancer combined (8,420 from melanoma and 2,780 from non-melanoma).[1]

Although the frequency of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer diagnoses—as well as supposed countless undetected cases—in the United States indicate that these diseases remain significant health concerns, it’s also important to note that, on the promising side, research and public awareness campaigns are promoting prevention and early detection of skin cancer. Staying informed with the latest news on prevention and screening are important steps in reducing your risk of developing skin cancer. And, should a diagnosis occur, access to current, in-depth treatment information can help you find the best care.

Learning More About Skin Cancer

  • Find great tips on protecting yourself from the sun, checking your skin for suspicious changes, and insight into effective treatment non-melanoma and melanoma at Skin Cancer Tips and Melanoma Tips.
  • To find expanded information on the prevention, screening, and treatment of skin cancer, stay updated with the lasted news on the disease, and join a skin cancer community, visit the Skin Cancer Information Center or the Melanoma Information Center.
  • Sign up to receive Cancer Consultants’ free online skin cancer newsletter, which provides disease-specific features, current news, tips, and nutrition and wellness information. Subscribe at
  • Visit the Cancer Store on for book titles whose topics range from personal cancer memoirs to expert nutritional guides about fueling your body to prevent and fight cancer.

The ACS states on their Web site ( that “publication of Cancer Facts & Figures 2009 has been delayed due to the late release of the US final mortality data by the National Center for Health Statistics.”


[1] American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2008. Available at Accessed April 28, 2009.

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