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President’s Monday Message: May 21, 2012

By Dr. Mary Campagnolo, MSNJ President

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month and the statistics are sobering. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and about 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. An estimated 2,530 New Jersey residents were diagnosed with melanoma in 2009 alone.

 In addition, a recent survey by the American Academy of Dermatology determined that young adults are not aware of the dangers of tanning beds and how to properly protect their skin from sun damage.  Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for teens and young adults 15-29 years old.

 As Memorial Day weekend approaches and the start of the summer season begins, please educate your patients of all ages that when they are exposed to the sun they should seek shade whenever possible, cover up, wear a hat and sunglasses and always use sunscreen.  Remind young adults in particular about the consequences of all types of tanning, including the risk of skin cancer.