Close to half of adults in the U.S. don’t know the signs of skin cancer, according to a new survey.
In an effort to increase the public’s knowledge about skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology (ADD) has launched the SPOT Skin Cancer initiative.
The goal of SPOT is to educate people on how to protect themselves from the sun and how to detect skin cancer, says Daniel M. Siegel, MD, a dermatologist and president of the AAD.
The program’s call to action is three parts:
- Prevent—stay in the shade, cover up, and use sunscreen.
- Detect—look for changing spots on your skin.
- Live—visit your dermatologist if you notice any spots changing, itching, or bleeding.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S; however, the AAD’s national online survey showed that 74 percent of respondents didn’t know this. It is estimated that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime.
When people know what to look for, they can catch it early when skin cancer is most treatable.
“Unlike other types of cancer that can’t be seen by the naked eye, skin cancer shows obvious signs on the surface of the skin that can be easily detected by properly examining it,” says Dr. Siegel.
When skin cancer is caught early, it has a 98 percent cure rate.
Visit the SPOT Skin Cancer program’s website, www.SpotSkinCancer.org, to do the following:
- Learn how to perform a skin self-exam.
- Download a body mole map for tracking changes in your skin.
- Find free skin cancer screenings near you.
The website also features stories of those affected by skin cancer.