The American Cancer Society's 2013 Cancer Statistics report found that the incidence of melanoma continues to rise in both men and women. This is particularly concerning because skin cancer can often be easily prevented and detected.
Unlike other types of cancer, skin cancer provides visual warning signs that can be detected on the surface of the skin in the form of a spot that changes, itches, or bleeds. When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable.
Not only can skin cancer be caught early by performing regular skin self-exams, there are easy steps everyone can take to reduce their skin cancer risk. Exposure to ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, so dermatologists recommend seeking shade, covering up, wearing sunscreen, and staying out of tanning beds.
The Academy and its members are actively working to reduce the incidence of skin cancer and change society's attitudes and behaviors toward sun exposure and tanning. In an effort to increase the public's understanding of skin cancer and motivate people to make positive behavior changes to prevent and detect skin cancer, the Academy launched its SPOT Skin Cancer® public education initiative in May 2012. Through SPOT Skin Cancer®, the Academy is committed to saving lives and reducing the incidence of skin cancer over the next three decades.