Cancer Coalition Announces Free Skin Cancer Screening on the Beach
Free skin cancer screenings will be available again to beachgoers of Monmouth County in effort to raise awareness and reduce skin cancer mortality.
The Monmouth Cancer Coalition will offer free skin cancer screening to adults at various beaches on July 17, 2010 (rain date July 18) from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. "Choose Your Cover" will combine the collected expertise of four Monmouth County medical centers, two health departments and five municipalities to fight skin cancer where risks are perhaps the greatest – at the beach.
At the designated beaches, a health professional will provide a free skin cancer screening exam to anyone who registers. This is a simple test that can detect signs of skin cancer. All adults age 18 and over are eligible for a free exam. In addition, educational materials, sunscreen and door prizes will be provided.
"Choose Your Cover" began in 2008 at three Ocean County beaches under the auspices of the Ocean County Cancer Coalition when over 500 people received a skin cancer screening exam. In 2009, all four New Jersey shoreline counties participated in this highly successful event, screening nearly 2,000. In Monmouth County, skin cancer screening will be available at Bradley Beach, Asbury Park Beach, Belmar Beach, Highlands Family Beach and Sea Bright Boro Beach. Site locations will be announced shortly.
The purpose of "Choose Your Cover" is to raise awareness about the risks of skin cancer due to sun exposure. The goal is supported by the 2008-2012 New Jersey Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan. In New Jersey and Monmouth County, melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers. In Monmouth County, melanoma incidence rates are third highest in the state and, contrary to most cancer types, have been increasing dramatically in recent years.
"New Jersey has a significantly higher risk of skin cancer than other states, and Monmouth County is higher than the average of New Jersey counties," said Arnold M. Baskies, M.D. and Chair of the Task Force on Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment in New Jersey and creator of Choose Your Cover. "We believe that sun safety can make a big difference and that education about skin cancer is key to saving lives."
Here are some facts about skin cancer:
• Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and New Jersey.
• Melanoma is an epidemic. In the United States, incidence rates are rising approximately 4% annually among persons age15 to 34 and 9% of those over age 65.
• One person dies every hour from melanoma; almost 70,000 Americans will be diagnosed and 8,700 will die from the disease this year.
• Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and sixth most common in women.
• In Monmouth County, incidence rates of melanoma are third highest in the state; mortality rates are greater than ten percent higher than the statewide average.
The program is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Office of Cancer Control and Prevention and the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey as grant recipient. Monmouth Cancer Coalition is a volunteer organization comprised of representatives from the health and human service communities, education, business, faith-based organizations and the general public. Its mission is to increase awareness, education and access to cancer screening and care through developing and sustaining collaborative relationships within the community for the purpose of reducing cancer morbidity and mortality in Monmouth County.