Mobile Education Program Will Visit Communities Around the U.S. to Raise Skin Cancer Awareness and Provide Free Skin Cancer Screenings
May 9, 2018 (New York, NY) — The Skin Cancer Foundation kicks off the second year of its mobile education and screening program, Destination: Healthy Skin, on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 in New York City. The program is designed to save lives by educating the public about effective sun protection for skin cancer prevention as well as the importance of early detection. The 2018 Destination: Healthy Skin program is made possible in part by generous support from Walgreens, EMD Serono and Pfizer, Amazon, Genentech, the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the American College of Mohs Surgery.
The Destination: Healthy Skin RV, customized with two private exam rooms, will travel around the country. Inside the RV, local dermatologists who volunteer their time will provide free full-body skin cancer screenings. Participants will receive The Skin Cancer Foundation’s educational materials and Walgreens brand sun care items.
In select markets, including New York City, Chicago, Miami, Houston and Denver, Walgreens specially trained beauty consultants and pharmacists will be on-hand to distribute sunburn alert stickers, educate visitors on the importance of sun protection, provide recommendations for sun care and sunburn treatments, and educate patients on medication that can cause photosensitivity.
The first event will be in New York City, and then the RV will hit the road, stopping in 15 cities over three months. The Foundation’s RV will spend two to three days in each community it visits, making its way around the country before returning to the East Coast in August for the final events of the season in Boston.
In 2017, the first year of the program, the Foundation provided more than 800 free skin cancer screenings. The Foundation’s 32 volunteer dermatologists identified more than 200 suspected skin cancers, while thousands of pedestrians learned about prevention and early detection.
With the continuation of this program, the Foundation seeks to highlight the need for sun safety, regardless of activity or location, by visiting communities that represent various lifestyles. Destination: Healthy Skin events will be held in beach communities, mountain towns, and urban, suburban and rural areas. A list of Destination: Healthy Skin events is available at DestinationHealthySkin.org.
The RV’s journey will be documented on the program website, the Foundation’s Sun & Skin News blog and social media channels so that people will be able to follow along, thus expanding the reach of the program beyond the communities visited.
“Coming off the huge success of last year’s program, we are excited to get on the road again to educate more people and ultimately save lives,” says Skin Cancer Foundation President Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD. "Destination: Healthy Skin is one of our most important education programs, because it gives us the opportunity to connect with people on a one-on-one basis and makes our skin cancer prevention and early detection recommendations even more accessible."
Skin cancer is already the most common form of cancer in the United States, and incidence continues to rise. It’s estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. When skin cancers are found and removed early, they are almost always curable. The estimated five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 99 percent in the U.S. That is why The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone visit a dermatologist annually for a professional skin exam, in addition to practicing monthly head-to-toe self-exams, looking for any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous.
Dermatologists participating in the Destination: Healthy Skin program will be screening patients to identify the most common type of skin cancers and precancers including basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), melanoma and actinic keratosis. Dermatologists will also be looking for rare but dangerous types of skin cancer such as Merkel cell carcinoma and acral lentiginous melanoma.
What to Expect During a Skin Cancer Screening
The participant is given a brief form to fill out and is then shown to one of the RV’s exam rooms. After the person changes into a gown, the dermatologist examines the patient’s skin from head to toe. The doctor notes any findings on the form and makes recommendations for next steps, which may include a formal visit to a dermatologist for a biopsy. To make the most of a screening, the Foundation recommends that participants remove nail polish and makeup in advance, let the doctor know if there is a personal or family history of skin cancer and point out during the exam any spots that are new or have changed.
The exam takes approximately 10 minutes. It’s best to arrive early, as screenings are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. At events where screenings aren’t available, staff will be on hand to distribute educational materials and sun protection samples.
Editor’s Note: Interior and exterior images of the RV are available upon request.
About The Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation has recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. For more information, visit SkinCancer.org.
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