Although one in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetimes, 65 percent of people of color don’t believe they are at risk and face lower survival rates as a result. To change these odds, the cancer organization Patients Rising will use the November timeframe – when most people are not thinking about the sun – to launch “Check Yourself to Protect Yourself ALL YEAR,” a national screening initiative that stresses the importance of sun safety for people of every ethnicity throughout the year.
The campaign will kick off in Washington, D.C. on Monday, November 16 with free skin cancer screenings for area residents in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building (Independence Avenue between First Street, SW and South Capitol Street) from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM. No registration is required.
In 2016, the campaign will use awareness-building programs and free screenings across the country to encourage Americans to examine their skin once a month for signs of skin cancer and to get a yearly skin cancer examination. Patients Rising will also invite Americans to participate in the Melanoma Research Foundation’s #GetNaked initiative, which specifically focuses on early detection efforts for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
“While many Americans are more vigilant about protecting their skin throughout the summer months, few take the necessary precautionary steps to stay safe throughout the entire year,” said Terry Wilcox, co-founder and executive director of Patients Rising. “We’re encouraging the public to learn the facts so they can protect themselves and their families.”
In D.C., the launch event will offer local residents and policymakers the opportunity to be screened and to discuss potential skin cancer risk factors with prominent area dermatologists, Ali Hendi, MD, and Lynn McKinley-Grant, MD. Participants will also hear the personal story of outdoor enthusiast and explorer Megan Sullivan, whose unexpected skin cancer diagnosis prompted her to pursue a lifelong dream – exploring the Seven Wonders of the World – in just 13 days. Sullivan is now speaking out on the importance of early detection and yearlong skin protection when outdoors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., but if detected early, the condition is highly treatable. This is especially true for melanoma, which is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old. In 2015, approximately 137,000 Americans will receive a melanoma diagnosis, and each year 10,000 will die from this disease.
Common skin cancer risk factors include exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, tanning beds or sunlamps; being fair-skinned; having many moles; and having a history of skin cancer.
In addition to advocating for increased screening and early detection of skin cancers, Patients Rising is working to spark the conversation about continued innovation and new treatments for melanoma and other skin cancers, as well as ensure that patients have access to vital therapies. To learn more about the organization and the event, visit http://patientsrising.org/checkyourself.
About Patients Rising
Patients Rising is a patient advocacy organization dedicated to educating, advocating, and communicating the importance of access to vital therapies and services for patients who face life-changing and life-threatening diseases. The organization focuses on ensuring that the patients’ voice is heard, access to new therapies is paramount, and the pipeline of progress is not threatened.www.patientsrising.org.
Source: Patients Rising