Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer designating May of each year as “Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month” has passed the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. SJR-18 also establishes the first Monday in May as “Melanoma Monday.”
Sen. Robert Singer’s resolution designates May of each year as “Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month” and the first Monday in May as “Melanoma Monday.” (Wikimedia Commons)
“Skin cancer is almost always curable if it is recognized and treated early, but without early detection, it can easily turn fatal,” Senator Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) said. “The Jersey Shore attracted 98 million visitors in 2016 and many more will soon arrive. Raising awareness at the beginning of the season will ensure these families have the tools to prevent skin cancer before they even step foot on the beach.”
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the nation. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 87,110 new cases of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer this year alone. Nearly 10,000 of those cases will be fatal.
Nearly 245 people in New Jersey die of melanoma every year, according to the EPA. Incidences of melanoma climb at 5-percent annually in this state, compared to 2-percent nationwide.
Senator Singer, a longtime advocate for skin cancer prevention, first introduced this resolution in 2015 to promote prevention and early detection of melanoma and other skin cancers. It gained unanimous support in the Senate, but stalled in the Assembly. If it had advanced, today would have been the first-ever Melanoma Monday in New Jersey.
“With cases of Melanoma climbing at nearly double the national rate, New Jersey cannot afford to wait any longer to make a massive effort to raise awareness of this growing health crisis,” Senator Singer added. “I am hopeful the Legislature won’t let another year go by without sending this to the Governor’s Desk.”
With the warm-weather months approaching, Senator Singer urged New Jersey residents to share the safety tips below:
Tips for Preventing and Detecting Skin Cancer
- Limit time in the sun when rays are most intense – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Wear protective clothing while out in the sun.
- Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
- Regularly examine your skin for irregular and new moles.
- Melanomas often resemble moles the size of a pencil eraser, can be recognized by their asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, and evolving size, shape, and color.
- See your physician annually for a professional skin exam. Melanoma is almost always curable if recognized and treated early.
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