Newswise — SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (May 19, 2014) – Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is the second most common form of cancer for teens and young adults ages 15 to 29, and the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25 to 29. Unprotected exposure to ultraviolet rays – from the sun and indoor tanning devices – is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma.
To highlight the dangers of tanning, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) has released new public service advertisements (PSAs) targeting teen girls and young women. In the new TV PSA, it is suddenly revealed that a young woman lying out on the beach is trapped inside an hourglass, which demonstrates that time may not be on your side if you continue to tan. In the new radio PSA, four young women advise their peers that “tanning doesn’t make you beautiful; it only makes you more at risk.” Distributed to television, cable and radio stations nationwide in May, “Time” and “Tanning Doesn’t Make You” can be viewed on the Academy’s YouTube channel and at www.aad.org/psa.
“Although many young women believe that tanning makes them more attractive, these new PSAs offer a healthy dose of reality,” said board-certified dermatologist Elizabeth S. Martin, MD, FAAD, who maintains a private practice in Hoover, Alabama. “If you tan indoors or out, the effects of harmful UV rays will eventually show up on your skin. This includes premature wrinkles, age spots and an increased risk of skin cancer, which can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences.”
The release of the new PSAs is timely; earlier in May, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its first report about the number of preventable deaths from leading causes in the U.S. According to the CDC, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., and 21 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented.
“There are simple steps people can take to significantly reduce their risk of developing skin cancer, including melanoma,” said Dr. Martin. “Stay out of tanning beds, seek shade, wear protective clothing and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. The recent report from CDC underscores the need for more people to embrace potentially life-saving behaviors and make better choices for their health.”
In addition to launching the PSAs, the Academy is teaching everyone how to SPOT Skin Cancer™ during Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month® in May. SPOT Skin Cancer™ is the Academy’s campaign to create a world without skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection and care of skin cancer.
On the Academy’s website – www.SpotSkinCancer.org – visitors can learn how to perform a skin self-exam, download a body mole map for tracking changes in their skin, and find free skin cancer screenings in their area. Individuals who have been affected by skin cancer can share their personal stories and provide support and inspiration for others fighting skin cancer, as well as communicate the importance of prevention and early detection.
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Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology) or Twitter (@AADskin).