The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal

MAY 2012

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.

Issue link: http://skincancer.epubxp.com/i/65757

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 10 of 103

President's Message This issue marks the 30th anniversary of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal, which was launched in 1982, three years after the beginning of the Foundation itself. The occasion is cause for reflection on how far we have come, and how much more must be accomplished. Our most important goals have always been educating the public about the dangers of skin cancer and spread- ing the lifesaving messages of sun protection, tanning avoidance, and early detection. There is ample evidence our messages are getting through. Perhaps the best evidence is the steep drop in the melanoma death rate. Five-year average survival has risen from just 60 percent in 1970 to over 90 percent in 2011, which scientists attribute to the powerful combination of public education campaigns such as ours and the result- ing increased patient awareness, along with improved Foundation was excited to have played a role by partially funding research on ipilimumab. Sun protection also made important strides this past year. Last June, the FDA issued its long-awaited new regulations for sunscreen labeling, strengthening its standards for broad-spectrum UVA/UVB products. The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation program, which has long set the standard as an assurance of safe, effective sun protection, also instituted major improvements this year, enabling consumers to select the ideal sunscreen for their different activities. Despite all these advances, we know we have While repeated studies show that people now have a greater understanding of skin cancer causes and prevention, their behavior lags behind. Skin cancer incidence continues to climb, especially melanoma rates among young adults. physician skills and diagnostic tools. The Foundation has played its part with our public and professional education materials, including our children's campaigns, which began in 1985; our physician spokespersons who serve as a pipeline to the media; and our just relaunched, greatly expanded and enhanced Website, www.SkinCancer.org. Also, since 2008, our Road to Healthy Skin Tour has annually visited most parts of the country providing free total-body skin examinations by dermatologists and free educational materials. This has gone a long way to spread the word about the importance of discovering and treating skin cancers early, when they are almost always curable. A major 2012 study from Germany showed how valuable such an effort is, finding that total-body skin exams reduced melanoma deaths by 50 percent. Another vital contributor to the drop in skin cancer deaths is improved treatments, which took a quantum leap in 2011 with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s approval of ipilimumab (YervoyTM rafenib (ZelborafTM ) and vemu- ). These two drugs are the first ever to extend life significantly for advanced melanoma patients, and ongoing research combining these and other drugs promises an even bigger dent in the death rate. The 9 much further to go in protecting the public. While repeated studies show that people now have a greater understanding of skin cancer causes and prevention, their behavior lags behind. Especially alarming is that skin cancer incidence continues to climb, especially melanoma rates among young adults. New research from the Mayo Clinic reveals an alarming rise in melanoma among people aged 18 to 39 over the past 40 years, with incidence rates skyrocketing by 800 percent among women and 400 percent among men. The authors theorized that a major cause, especially among women, is indoor UV tanning, whose popularity has soared since its introduction in the US in the 1970s — precisely the period in which skin cancer rates have soared. Indoor tanning is not the only culprit. Despite im- proved awareness of the need for sun protection outdoors, Americans do not routinely apply sunscreen, or apply too little. They also too often rely on sunscreen alone, without other essential elements of sun protection, includ- ing clothing, shade, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. For us, this means there is no such thing as too much education. As the only international organization devoted solely to combating the world's most prevalent cancer, we see it as our solemn duty to keep expanding on the gains made over the past 30 years — to continue giving people everywhere the most up-to-date knowledge they need to protect themselves by means of sun protection, early detection, and prompt, effective treatment. President The Skin Cancer Foundation

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Skin Cancer Foundation Journal - MAY 2012