Sun & Skin News

Speaking Up and Fighting Skin Cancer

By Victoria Kopec • April 2, 2022
You have a voice in the fight against skin cancer

America’s most common cancer is a fierce adversary, striking more than 9,500 people each day. And every year in the U.S., more people are diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Yet, the dangers of skin cancer are not widely known. That’s one reason why, year after year, countless people suffer lasting damage from skin cancer, and more than 20,000 die.

We’re determined to change that. Our goal is simple: Saving more lives by reaching more people around the country with our free mobile skin cancer screenings and public education programs.

People Are Speaking Up. You Can Too. 

To help us reach our goal, we invite you to speak up in the fight against skin cancer. The louder our collective voice, the more people we can reach and the more lives we can save.

People like Coach Sean McDermott, Chrissy Carbone, Josh Paschal know what it means to say, “This is skin cancer.” And they’re sounding a warning for everyone to hear.

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Coach McDermott, the head coach of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills has battled squamous cell carcinoma more than once. And in 2009, he lost a good friend and mentor to melanoma. In 2021, Coach McDermott teamed with us to spread the word to as many people as possible.

“If you see something new, changing or unusual, go get checked.”

Chrissy receiving immunotherapy for skin cancer during pandemic

Chrissy, a mom of two and stage III melanoma survivor, talks about the importance of prevention.

If there’s anything you can do to prevent skin cancer, you should just do it.”

Josh Paschal
Photo courtesy of University of Kentucky and UK Athletics

Josh, a Detroit Lions football player diagnosed with melanoma at age 19, spreads the skin cancer message to young people and people of color.

“Realize you’re not invincible. It could happen to you.”

The Power of Your Voice

The power of a single voice made the news in 2022 after a fan spoke up at an NHL hockey game. Aspiring med student, Nadia Popovici, saw a suspicious mole on the back of the neck of Red Hamilton, assistant equipment manager for the Vancouver Canucks. She alerted him by typing a message on her phone and showing it to him: “The mole on the back of your neck is possibly cancerous. Please go see a doctor!”  Hamilton got the mole checked by a doctor and was diagnosed with melanoma. Thankfully it was detected early enough that it could be removed before it had spread. The simple act of speaking up to Hamilton, a total stranger, likely saved his life.

Fighting Back with Screenings and Education

We’re on the front lines with 24-7 public education, The Big See early detection campaign and our free mobile skin cancer screening and education program, Destination Healthy Skin. Since its launch, our Destination Healthy Skin’s volunteer dermatologists have screened more than 25,000 people around the country, and identified more than 10,000 skin cancers and precancers. The program’s in person messaging, combined with media outreach and digital campaigns have educated millions of people about skin cancer prevention and early detection.

And we’re not done yet. Our dream is to defeat skin cancer entirely and we hope you’ll join Coach McDermott, Chrissy and Josh by speaking up.

What You Can Do

Your voice can help save lives. There are so many ways to get involved in the fight against skin cancer. Choose one that’s right for you!

  • Share your story on social media: Tag @SkinCancerOrg and use #ThisIsSkinCancer so we can see your post. Check out our Social Media Tool Kit for images and post ideas.
  • Be an influencer: Tell your friends, family and coworkers why skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment are important to you.
  • Make a gift: Support free skin cancer screenings and education, now and in the future. Donate now.
  • Create an online fundraiser: Amplify the power of your voice and your impact. Find out how to fundraise for us – it’s easy!

Thank you for speaking up. Together, we’ll get closer to the day when there are no new skin cancer stories left to tell.