July 26, 2021 (New York, NY) — The Skin Cancer Foundation kicks off Destination Healthy Skin, its annual mobile education and screening program, on Sunday, August 1, in New York City. After a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation is safely bringing this lifesaving program to communities around the country once more. 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 EltaMD and ScarAway.
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 at least once a year for a professional skin exam, in addition to practicing monthly head-to-toe self-exams.
“After a year when many people delayed doctor visits, my colleagues and I are seeing patients with larger skin cancers than usual,” says Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, president of The Skin Cancer Foundation and a dermatologist in private practice. “The Foundation’s efforts to educate the public about skin cancer early detection have never been more vital than they are right now, and the Destination Healthy Skin program is a significant part of those efforts.”
The 2021 Destination Healthy Skin program is made possible in part by generous support from EltaMD, ScarAway, EMD Serono and Pfizer, Merck & Company Inc., Almirall, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and The Lynne Waxman Foundation.
“We’re grateful to our corporate partners and individual donors who help us deliver this very important public service,” says Dan Latore, executive director of The Skin Cancer Foundation. “In addition to the people we serve directly with screenings, this program helps our early detection message reach millions more through media coverage, social media and word of mouth. No one who sees the RV can miss the call to action printed on the driver’s side: ‘What’s That? It could be skin cancer.’”
This year, the RV exterior was redesigned by Digitas Health, a Publicis Health agency within the Publicis Groupe network. Digitas Health also conceptualized and executed the Foundation’s PSA campaign, The Big See (TheBigSee.org). The campaign simplifies skin cancer warning signs, instructing people to look for anything new, changing or unusual on their skin.
What to Expect During a Skin Cancer Screening: The participant is given a brief form to fill out and is 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 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 always 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 9,000 miles over four months, making its way around the country before returning to the East Coast in November for the final event of the season in Philadelphia. The Foundation will host Destination Healthy Skin events in 21 cities. A list of events is available at DestinationHealthySkin.org.
Editor’s Note: RV rendering 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
About EltaMD® Skin Care
For more than 30 years EltaMD Skin Care has developed professional skin care products that are widely used and recommended by physicians. EltaMD has a deep medical heritage which began in wound healing, and they have applied that experience to create innovative products that help restore, protect and maintain healthy skin. Today, their broad-spectrum sunscreens are Dermatologist’s #1 most trusted, recommended and personally used professional sunscreens in the US.