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First State renews efforts to raise skin cancer awareness

Photo courtesy: DE Div. of Public Health

As we approach the summer months, the risks of getting dangerous sunburns increases.


Each year, two million people are diagnosed with melanoma. But detecting skin cancer before it spreads results in a 98 percent survival rate.  


Awareness and education is the goal behind ProtectYourSkin DE a skin cancer prevention campaign from Delaware's Division of Public Health. DPH Cancer Control Program Director Heather Brown saysDelawareans seem to be getting the message.


“People are really starting to catch on to what we’ve been trying to do as far as education,” she notes. “People are catching it early and then that’s making the mortality numbers go down because it’s being caught at the time where it's most treatable.”


Skin cancer accounts for about 27 deaths in Delaware annually.


But the good news is that there are steps you can take to decrease your risk.


Health professionals note that protection from the sun's UV rays could prevent 90 percent of all skin cancer cases.

Brown says State health officials will bring the campaign to a variety of outdoor events throughout the First State this summer.


“We’ll be giving out sunscreen, we’ll be giving out Frisbees that change color in the UV light and we have some great wristbands for kids that change color in the UV light so that they can alert their parents, ‘hey I need sunscreen’ when it turns purple. So we really are trying to be interactive and we just want to just get the message out.”


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