Senate Passes Fuschillo Resolution Proclaiming May as “Skin Cancer Awareness Month” in New York State

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

May 10, 2011

Senator Fuschillo Reminds Residents to Be Safe & Get Screened 

          The New York State Senate today passed a legislative resolution sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) proclaiming May as “Skin Cancer Awareness Month” in New York State.   

            “I’m pleased that the State Senate passed this resolution to raise awareness about skin cancer, which is the most common form of cancer according to the American Cancer Society. With summer right around the corner, it’s important to raise awareness about the need to practice good sun safety. Taking a few simple precautions, as well as getting regularly screened by a dermatologist, will go a long way towards protecting yourself from skin cancer,” said Senator Fuschillo.            

            Senator Fuschillo reminded residents to practice the following sun safety tips, which are offered by the American Cancer Society: 

            * 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.

In addition, the American Cancer Society recommends that individuals get screened regularly by a dermatologist and perform self-skin exams at least once a month. Senator Fuschillo will be sponsoring a free skin cancer screening program in July. Please call Senator Fuschillo’s office at 516-882-0630 for additional information. 

            Senator Fuschillo is also sponsoring legislation to help protect young people from skin cancer. Senator Fuschillo’s legislation would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning beds. Individuals under the age of 30 who use tanning beds increase their risk of melanoma by 75%, according to the American Cancer Society.  


Text of the legislative resolution:

LEGISLATIVE   RESOLUTION  memorializing  Governor  Andrew  M.  Cuomo  to proclaim May of 2011, 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, In the United States in 2010, an estimated 74,010 people were diagnosed  with  skin  cancer; and, an estimated 11,790 people died 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; 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 2011, 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.