My eyes have really been opened over the past year. Since launching the Skin Care Network in collaboration with the Dermatology Nurses’ Association and becoming a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association, I have learned A LOT about skin cancer, indoor tanning, and prevention. I’ve written about skin cancer before on this blog, not so much about the cancer itself, but my involvement (or lack of) when caring for my dad when he underwent Moh’s surgery (Is Nursing Really For me?) I digress a little, mainly to share that with a family  history of skin cancer, I should and will be more proactive in prevention methods for myself and my family. 

Recent publications demonstrating the increasing incidence of melanoma and its association with tanning bed use include Increasing Incidence of Melanoma Among Young Adults (Mayo Clinic Proceedings), Use of Tanning Beds and Incidence of Skin Cancer (Journal of Clinical Oncology), and Melanoma surveillance in the United States: Overview of Methods (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology). Many states have enacted or are considering teen tanning bed restrictions (here’s  a nice list) and a Congressional Report revealed “the false and misleading health information provided to teens by the indoor tanning industry.”

I know those are a lot of links to sort through above, however, the number of reports & articles (and there are more) demonstrate what a big issue this is. What is critical here is that there are ways to prevent or minimize skin cancer occurrence, resources to educate our patients and the public, and important information to know to recognize skin cancer so it can be treated early. The following organizations and events are a good place to start! 

Organizations/Programs

National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention 

Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation 

SunAWARE 

Outrun the Sun 

Events

Melanoma Monday ~ the first Monday in May; the purpose is to raise melanoma awareness and encourage early detection.

Don’t Fry Day ~ the Friday before Memorial Day; the purpose is to increase sun safety awareness and remind everyone to protect their skin while spending time outdoors.