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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: February 17, 2022 11:22 AM
From: Senator Steven J. Santarsiero and Sen. Patrick M. Browne
To: All Senate members
Subject: Recognizing May 2022 as “Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month” and the first Monday in May 2022 as “Melanoma Monday” in Pennsylvania.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 3.5 million new cases diagnosed each year. Skin cancer occurs when ultraviolet radiation from the sun damages skin cells, and triggers mutations that cause the cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.
Of the various types of skin cancer, melanoma is the most dangerous, and is the leading cause of death from skin disease. For instance, the American Cancer Society estimates that, in 2022, 99,780 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States, and that 7,650 people will die from melanoma.
A person's risk for developing melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns, and triples if the person occasionally uses a tanning bed. In fact, even one indoor tanning session increases the user's chance of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year increases the user's risk by another two percent.
Melanomas, which often resemble moles the size of a pencil eraser, can be recognized by their asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, and evolving size, shape, and color.  Melanoma is almost always curable if it is recognized and treated early, but if melanoma is not detected, it can spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes harder to treat and is often fatal.
Individuals can significantly reduce their chances of developing melanoma by limiting their time in the sun when rays are most intense between 10 AM and 4 PM, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Children in particular need protection from the sun, which can include playing in the shade at playgrounds and properly applying sunscreen. People are also advised to examine their skin regularly for the warning signs of melanoma, and to see their physicians annually for a professional skin exam.
Please join us in recognizing May 2022 as “Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month” and the first Monday in May 2022 as “Melanoma Monday” in Pennsylvania to help bring awareness to the dangers of melanoma and other skin cancers and to promote prevention and early detection among residents of the State.

Introduced as SR263