The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2013

The 2012 edition of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal features medically reviewed, reader-friendly articles such as tanning, the increasing incidence of skin cancer diagnoses among young women, & the prevalence of melanoma among white males over 50.

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3 4 Figure 2: The Solmáforo Figure 1: South America has an enormous diversity of landscapes and climates, from (1) the Amazon to (2) the Atacama Desert, (3) from the plains of Los Llanos and the Pampas to (4) the Andes' Mount Aconcagua. from 1-11+; the higher the number, the more intense and dangerous the UV radiation. Solmáforos use a color code to display this information: as the The solmáforo, a vertical instrument composed of solar panels and optical sensors, measures and informs the public UV levels) to yellow to orange to red to purple (11+ on the index, the highest levels). The solmáforo also displays the maximum sun exposure time one can safely endure that day, and appropriate sun protection strategies (i.e., clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses) [Figure 2]. The solmáforo has now been implemented and well received in Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Colombia. In addition, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador have each initiated their own foundations, and are working with The Skin Cancer Foundation to increase awareness and sun-protective practices in their countries. about the daily UVB radiation index UV index climbs in the place where the solmáforo is installed (generally a public space, like a plaza or traffc intersection), the solmáforo changes from green (1-2 on the index, the lowest IMPROVING BEHAVIORS Informed people tend to be more conscious of and conscientious about sun safety. One study demonstrated that children who are educated about sun protection signifcantly improved not only their knowledge but also their sun safety practices.3 However, among groups such as teenagers, skin cancer education seems to have little impact on behavior.1 Many teenagers and young adults still tan indoors and do not use sun protection outdoors. Yet other high-risk groups, like outdoor workers and people living in rural areas, are not even aware of the importance of sun safety. To change this, more institutions and organizations, including government administrations, must work together to spread the word far and wide. natalia JaiMeS, MD, is a dermatologist and Co-President of the Fundación Cáncer de Piel Colombia. She received training in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the skin at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Department of Dermatology, New York, NY. She practices at the Dermatology Service at Universidad Pontifcia Bolivariana and at a skin cancer center in Medellín, Colombia. Dr. Jaimes is active in clinical research, and her research interests are focused on pigmented lesions, melanoma, nevi and the use of imaging tools such as photography, dermoscopy, and confocal laser microscopy to elucidate features that can assist in the early detection of skin cancer. References available on p.95. 69

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