Senate Passes Fuschillo Resolution Designating May as “Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month” in New York State

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

May 01, 2012

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that the New York State Senate passed a legislative resolution he sponsored designating May as “Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month” in New York State.

     “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, but it is also one of the most treatable if it is detected early. Indoor tanning or even one bad sunburn can greatly increase the risk of developing skin cancer, which is why it’s so important for residents to be safe and get screened. With summer only a few short weeks away, now is the perfect time to remind residents about the importance protecting themselves from skin cancer and being safe while in the sun,” said Senator Fuschillo.

     Skin cancer is by far the most common of all cancer types, affecting individuals of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, according to the American Cancer Society. More than 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancers in the U.S. each year.

     The American Cancer Society recommends the following steps to help prevent skin cancer:

     * Use sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Sunscreen should be applied as instructed on the product label. Check the product’s label to make sure it has not expired.

     * Cover up in the sun. Wear as much clothing as possible to cover up exposed skin.

     * Wear a hat. A hat with at least a 2 to 3 inch brim all around is ideal because it protects areas such as the ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp that are often exposed to intense sun.

     * Wear sunglasses that block UV rays. Check the label to make sure they block UVA & UVB radiation. UV absorption up to 400 nm" or "Meets ANSI UV Requirements" mean the glasses block at least 99% of UV rays. Those labeled "cosmetic" block about 70% of the UV rays. If there is no label, don't assume the sunglasses provide any protection.

     * Avoid being outdoors too long between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.

     * Avoid using tanning beds and tanning lamps. These devices emit UVA rays, and often UVB rays, both of which can cause long-term skin damage and contribute to skin cancer. Most skin doctors and health organizations recommend not using tanning beds and sun lamps.

     Senator Fuschillo has been a leader in the fight against skin cancer. He has sponsored free skin cancer screening programs and authored a state law banning children under the age of 14 from using indoor UV tanning devices. Senator Fuschillo is also fighting to expand the law to prevent children under age 18 from using UV tanning devices. Use of tanning beds before the age of 30 increases the risk of melanoma by 75 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

Text of the Legislative Resolution:

Senate Resolution No. 4272


MEMORIALIZING Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim May of 2012 as Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month in the State of New York

WHEREAS, Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, affecting those across every racial and ethnic population in both New York State and the rest of the country, developing more new cases each year than breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined; and

WHEREAS, Each year in the United States, over 2 million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer; and, an estimated 12,000 people will die from skin cancer; and

WHEREAS, Skin cancer is a disease which will affect one in five Americans during the course of their lifetime and has resulted in nearly 800,000 Americans living with a history of melanoma and 13 million who are living with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer; and

WHEREAS, Approximately 39,000 new cases of melanoma occur in men each year in the United States, and 29,000 in women, resulting in 5,700 and 3,000 deaths respectively; 3,750 new cases will occur in New York state; and

WHEREAS, The survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early, before the tumor has penetrated the skin, is about 99%, the survival rate falls to 15% for those with advanced disease; and

WHEREAS, Common causes of skin cancer include frequent unprotected outings in the harmful ultraviolet rays caused by both the sun and tanning beds, with frequent tanners receiving as much as 12 times the annual UVA dose compared to the dose they would receive from sun exposure alone, and increasing their chances of developing melanoma by 74%, as well as genetic factors such as skin type and tolerance to sunburn; and

WHEREAS, Skin cancer is a highly curable disease when treated early, thus preventing progression towards the disease's latter stages should be of utmost concern; and

WHEREAS, Increased awareness and education among all stakeholders, including federal and state governments, patient groups, medical researchers, community leaders and organizers, the public and businesses, is critical to promote the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim May 2012 as Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month in the State of New York; and be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York.