April 19, 2022 (New York, NY) — The Skin Cancer Foundation kicks off the fifth year of Destination Healthy Skin, its annual mobile education and screening program, on Friday, May 6 in Stratford, Connecticut. The program is designed to save lives by educating the public about the importance of skin cancer early detection as well as effective sun protection for skin cancer prevention. Inside the Destination Healthy Skin RV, local volunteer dermatologists provide free full-body skin cancer screenings in private exam rooms. Participants receive information about skin cancer warning signs and proper sun protection as well as product samples courtesy of program sponsors.
Skin cancer is 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 usually 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 at least once a year for a professional skin exam, in addition to practicing monthly head-to-toe self-exams. And a daily sun protection strategy (seeking shade, covering up with clothing, hats and sunglasses, and applying sunscreen), can significantly reduce skin cancer risk.
“We’re excited to get back on the road in May, which is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and also when many Americans start spending more time outdoors, exposing their skin to damaging ultraviolet radiation from the sun,” says Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, president of The Skin Cancer Foundation and a dermatologist in private practice in New York. “Destination Healthy Skin is one of our most important education programs — it’s a unique opportunity to make a face-to-face connection with people all over the country and spread our lifesaving messages about skin cancer prevention and the importance of early detection.”
The Foundation will document the RV’s journey on its website, SkinCancer.org, 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. The 2022 Destination Healthy Skin program is made possible by generous support from CVS Pharmacy; EltaMD; DSM; Coolibar; EMD Serono and Pfizer; Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; an independent grant from Merck & Co., Inc.; and The Lynne Waxman Foundation.
What to Expect During a Skin Cancer Screening: Staff members give each participant a brief form to fill out, show them to one of the RV’s private exam rooms and instruct them to change into a gown. The dermatologist comes into the room to examine the participant’s skin from head to toe. The physician 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 any spots that are new, changing or unusual.
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 distribute educational materials and product samples.
COVID Precautions: To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread, masks are required inside the RV. Participants who do not have a mask will be provided with one. Hand sanitizer is available and social distancing is encouraged. Exam rooms are disinfected between exams, and high touch surfaces inside the RV are sanitized routinely.
The Destination Healthy Skin RV will travel approximately 10,000 miles over four months, making its way around the country before heading to Texas in September for the final event of the season in Houston. The Foundation will host Destination Healthy Skin events in 24 cities. A list of events is available at DestinationHealthySkin.org.
Editor’s Note: Exterior and interior images of the RV are available upon request.
About The Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation saves and improves lives by empowering people to take a proactive approach to daily sun protection and the 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