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May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

  • May 6, 2015
  • RPh on the Go

melanoma-skin-cancer-awareness-pharmacistSkin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause, though UV radiation from sunlamps and tanning beds can also lead to skin cancer. Melanoma is the most dangerous kind of skin cancer.

When skin cancer is found and treated in its early stages, it can more than likely be cured. Pharmacists can work with other health professionals and community entities to promote awareness, helping to prevent skin cancer altogether or promote early detection.

How Can Pharmacists Help with Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month?

Your pharmacy can use this month to talk about skin cancer with patients, and help them learn how to prevent it and detect it at home. You can participate in community events, to help spread the word beyond your patients.

Here are some ideas:

  • Encourage everyone to wear sunscreen and limit the amount of time they spend in the sun every day. Educate patients about the differences in SPF protection levels, and times of day when the sun’s rays are most dangerous.
  • Organize events at local schools to reach out to children. Teach them about the harms of UV radiation, why you must protect yourself, and how you can do it.
  • Reach out to youth leaders in your local community to have them talk to their friends about preventing skin cancer.
  • Partner with other healthcare providers in the area to host a free or local skin cancer screening event.

Spreading the Word Made Easy

With the tools at HealthFinder.gov, your pharmacy can easily spread information about Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month.

  • Use their template to create a newsletter, email marketing blast, or press release about skin cancer detection and prevention month.
  • Use their premade tweets to share information on your pharmacy’s Twitter account. Adapt the information and share it on other social media outlets as well.
  • Host an event at your pharmacy or somewhere within the community to teach people how to prevent skin cancer and how to detect it. Use social media to spread the word about your event.
  • Add a web badge to your website.

It’s not just about the local community you serve, it’s about who serves them alongside you, as well.

  • Post a list of skin safety tips near all commonly used exits, so employees see them before going out into the sun.
  • Host a tree planting event. This will help provided shaded areas to protect against as much sun exposure.
  • Send a memo with tips on how to protect yourself from the sun on vacation.
  • Invite a local dermatologist, nurse, or public health official to come speak to your pharmacy team and demonstrate how to check the skin for warning signs of skin cancer.

By working together with other members in the community, your pharmacy can help reduce the incidence of skin cancer.

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