Newswise — ROSEMONT, Ill. (April 29, 2021) — Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, affecting one in five Americans during their lifetime. To help raise awareness of skin cancer prevention and detection, the American Academy of Dermatology will host Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™, a month-long steps challenge, beginning Sat., May 1 in recognition of Skin Cancer Awareness Month. The participant-driven fundraising event — part of the AAD’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign to create a world without skin cancer — aims to log 9,500 miles across the country in honor of the approximately 9,500 people who are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. The event will benefit skin cancer prevention and detection programs, including free skin cancer screenings, sunscreen dispensers, and permanent shade structures where children learn and play.

To participate in “Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™”:

  • Sign up at There is no fee to register, and participants can sign up as a team captain, join a team or register as an individual. Anyone who registers by May 1 will receive a UPF 50 scarf.
  • Get moving: Download the free AAD Hike app, which will be available May 1, to take your fundraising and activity tracking on the go. Log your miles, view your and/or your team’s progress, send messages, and connect with others who are stepping up for skin cancer.
  • Connect: Once registered, join the “Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!” Facebook group to connect with other participants, receive fundraising tips, and participate in mini challenges for a chance to win prizes. Use the hashtag #SCTAH when sharing hike updates and photos on social media.

“Particularly after a challenging year, exercise is great activity for our physical and mental health, and even more so when it’s tied to a good cause,” says dermatologist Ken J. Tomecki, MD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “By letting you choose the time, place and activity of your workout, this fitness challenge provides a wonderful and safe way to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and support life-saving skin cancer prevention and detection programs.”

It is estimated that nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — every day. In recognition of Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May and Melanoma Monday® on May 3, the AAD has launched this hike in conjunction with its annual national public awareness campaign encouraging Americans to #PracticeSafeSun to protect themselves and their families from skin cancer, including melanoma.

“By raising awareness through this hike, we want to remind everyone that unprotected UV exposure is the most significant risk factor for skin cancer,” says Dr. Tomecki. “Whenever you’re outdoors, protect your skin from the sun by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing — including a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection — and applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not covered by clothing.”

Skin Cancer, Take a Hike! is part of the AAD’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign to reduce mortality from and the incidence of skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer. Thanks to the campaign’s dedicated volunteers and donors, SPOT Skin Cancer has provided more than 2.8 million free skin cancer screenings and awarded 432 shade structure grants, which provide shade for nearly 3.5 million individuals daily.

Skin Cancer, Take a Hike! is generously supported by Dermstore, Castle Biosciences, EltaMD and DermTech.

To learn more about Skin Cancer, Take a Hike! or to donate, visit


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More Information

Skin Cancer Resource Center

Skin Cancer Fact Sheet

Melanoma FAQs

Skin Cancer Stories

About the AAD

Headquartered in Rosemont, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology, founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 20,000 physicians worldwide, the AAD 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 AAD at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or Follow the AAD on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology), Twitter (@AADskin), Instagram (@AADskin1), or YouTube (AcademyofDermatology).

Editor’s note: The AAD does not promote or endorse any products or services. This content is intended as editorial content and should not be embedded with any paid, sponsored or advertorial content as it could be perceived as an AAD endorsement.