Posts Tagged ‘melanoma’

Melanoma Reporting

October 28th, 2014

melanomaMelanoma skin cancer is the deadliest form of skin cancer.  Many believe that Arizona has similar age adjusted incidence rates to Australia, the world’s highest rate.  But during the middle of the last decade, the Arizona Cancer Registry data showed a puzzling decline in cancer rates.

The AZ Melanoma Task Force to look at the cause.  The task force consists of the Arizona Cancer Registry, the Skin Cancer Institute, University of Arizona Cancer Center, community dermatologist in both Maricopa and Pima Counties and the SunWise Skin Cancer Prevention Program.  They discovered that there was substantial under-reporting of melanoma cases (72% of cases missed) by reviewing case reports of 15 dermatology practices.  Physicians weren’t reporting their cases because they thought the pathology laboratory was reporting or they just didn’t know they were supposed to report.

The task force really stepped up to develop strategies to improve melanoma reporting by physicians.  The latest report shows that within one year of implementation of melanoma reporting strategies there was a 36% increase in reporting.  This is the first big step in really identifying the burden of melanoma. Although it now appears that melanoma rates are dramatically rising in Arizona, it’s more the “true” burden of melanoma coming to light and showing the importance of prevention strategies called for in the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer.

Summer Means It’s Time for Sun Safety

June 2nd, 2014

sunscreenSkin cancer is now the most common cancer in the U.S. but is preventable by using good judgment.  Thirteen new studies confirm what most of us have suspected, that protecting your skin from damaging UV rays with clothing, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and shade, decreases sunburns, tanning and the formation of moles—all factors in developing a potentially fatal skin cancer like melanoma.

About 20% of Arizonans are likely to develop skin cancer during their lifetime. In addition to the health burden of treating skin cancer, the annual economic burden is $5.3B.  Our ADHS SunWise Program focuses on preventing skin cancer with free sun safety curriculum that is now mandated for all 1,100 K-8 public schools. SunWise has been educating students and teachers statewide with free school assemblies  and district workshops for over 12 years.

Your kids may have participated in the annual poster or video contests and demonstrated their favorite ways to stay safe in the sun. To learn more about strategies to prevent skin cancer, check out the Community Preventative Services Task Force findings and be sure to visit the SunWise home page for free resources, video and poster contest winners and more. SunWise is also playing a part in our acclaimed Empower program by encouraging child care facilities to be SunWise.

Summer Means it’s Time for Sun Safety

May 30th, 2014

uvi_mapSkin cancer is now the most common cancer in the U.S. but is preventable by using good judgment.  Thirteen new studies confirm what most of us have suspected, that protecting your skin from damaging UV rays with clothing, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and shade, decreases sunburns, tanning and the formation of moles—all factors in developing a potentially fatal skin cancer like melanoma.

About 20% of Arizonans are likely to develop skin cancer during their lifetime. In addition to the health burden of treating skin cancer, the annual economic burden is $5.3B.  Our ADHS SunWise Program focuses on preventing skin cancer with free sun safety curriculum that is now mandated for all 1,100 K-8 public schools. SunWise has been educating students and teachers statewide with free school assemblies  and district workshops for over 12 years.

Your kids may have participated in the annual poster or video contests and demonstrated their favorite ways to stay safe in the sun. To learn more about strategies to prevent skin cancer, check out the Community Preventative Services Task Force findings and be sure to visit the SunWise home page for free resources, video and poster contest winners and more. SunWise is also playing a part in our acclaimed Empower program by encouraging child care facilities to be SunWise.

Limit the Sun, Not the Fun- Be SunWise!

July 31st, 2013

A recent report by the American Cancer Society, suggests what many Arizonans may have suspected, that skin cancer is on the rise. An estimated 82,770 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in 2013. In Arizona, one in five of us is likely to develop some form of skin cancer.  The most common cause is overexposure to UV Rays, those invisible rays that come from the sun and tanning lamps and cause sunburns and suntans.  

Protecting skin from sunburn and suntan is key, especially among the under-18 crowd who gets more exposure than adults. The ADHS SunWise Program has been around 10 years, educating kids at over 1100 elementary and middle schools who are required to teach sun safety.   They’re not alone.  Our Offices of Childcare Licensure and Empower Program support the SunWise message.  In fact, all Arizona’s licensed childcare facilities now implement sun safety policies and provide outdoor shaded play area for children under their care.  To learn more about SunWise and Tips to keep yourself safe and prevent skin cancer, visit our SunWise website.

Limit the Sun, Not the Fun

June 8th, 2010

School is out & the UV index will be over 10 for the next couple of months, meaning that it’s sun safety season.  Since the majority of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun occurs by the age of 18, it’s crucial to protect and educate parents and children about the simple steps to take to limit sun exposure.   With little more than a good idea and some pocket change from the preventive health block grant, we created the Arizona SunWise School Program in 2003.  In August 2005, Arizona became the first state to mandate sun safety education by requiring that all K-8 public and charter schools teach the SunWise Sun Safety School Program.

The SunWise Program shows kids & teachers simple steps they can take to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. Children also develop an understanding of the environmental concepts related to sun safety.  Students demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks at an early age. These good sun safety habits can last a lifetime.  Also, here’s a link to common-sense Skin Cancer Prevention materials from the CDC for families and summer schools.  You can also tell someone how to protect their skin from the sun with CDC’s Skin Cancer electronic greeting card.

The SunWise program works with the Arizona Diamondbacks every year on a Sun Safety Poster – the winner was announced at last night’s Diamondbacks game – check it out on our Facebook page.

Also, a new study this week found that frequently using indoor tanning studios increased melanoma (skin cancer) risk no matter when the person started to go to indoor tanning salons.  Elevated risks were found with all different kinds of tanning beds.  You can see the Full Text (PDF) of the article on-line.