In the News Down Under
We got some coverage on an Australian skiing website while we were completing that leg of our journey. And
while in Chile. Plus, a new article by my doctor:
May is Melanoma Awareness Month
May has been designated National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month by the American Academy of
Dermatology. Although skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, the likelihood of cure
is high if lesions are detected and treated at an early stage. Skin cancer is more common among persons with
lightly pigmented skin.1 Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas affect men more often than
women.2 Among persons aged <40 years, women are more likely than men to develop melanoma, and among
those aged >40 years, men are more likely to develop melanoma.3 Exposure to sunlight and excessive
ultraviolet radiation increases the risk for skin cancer.
The risk for melanoma later in life is substantially increased following one or more blistering sunburns during
childhood or the teenage years. The CDC's National Skin Cancer Prevention Education Program is designed to help
achieve the national health objectives for the year 2000 for skin cancer prevention. One objective is to increase to
>60% the proportion of persons of all ages who limit sun exposure, use sunscreens and protective clothing when exposed
to sunlight, and avoid exposure to artificial sources of ultraviolet light (e.g., sun lamps and tanning booths)
Parents, health-care providers, schools, and community organizations can develop and provide strategies that
reinforce sun-protection behaviors (e.g., staying out of direct sunlight or timing outdoor activities for hours when
ultraviolet light is less intense) and change attitudes about exposure to the sun (e.g., the opinion that a person looks
more attractive with a tan).
Information about skin cancer is available from the National Cancer Institute, telephone (800) 422-6237, and from the
American Cancer Society, telephone (800] 227-2345. Information about CDC's cancer prevention and control program
is available from the World-Wide Web at
- Harras A, Edwards BK, Blot WJ, Ries LAG, eds. Cancer Rates and Risks. 4th ed. Bethesda, Maryland: US Department
of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 1996; DHHS publication no.
- American Academy of Dermatology. Burning Issues: Press Conference Report. Schaumburg, Illinois: American Academy
of Dermatology, May 2, 1994.
- Kosary CL, Ries LAG, Miller BA, Hankey BF, Harras A, Edwards BK, eds. SEER cancer statistics review, 1973�1992:
tables and graphs. Bethesda, Maryland: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National
Institutes of Health, 1995; DHHS publication no. (NIH)96-2789.