May 12, 2010


Nassau County Declares May as “Melanoma Awareness Month”

Legislator Denise Ford and County Executive Ed Mangano, along with the Nassau County Legislature’s Health Committee and the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign (CCMAC), announced that May will be “Melanoma Awareness Month” in Nassau County as well as acknowledging “Don’t Fry Day” the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.

Legislator Denise Ford stressed aspects of awareness: “You have to BE SUN SMART®, Sunscreen should be worn daily all year round not just when going to the beach.  Hats, sunglasses and protective clothing are important when being exposed to damaging UV Rays. Few realize Melanoma is the most common cancer for 15 – 29 year olds.  A recent study indicates tanning bed use by those under 30 increases their risk of melanoma by 75%.”

 “There are certain precursors that will indicate if you’re more susceptible to skin cancer,” said Ford. For example, people who are fair skinned or who are breast cancer survivors are more likely to get Melanoma. However, people of color are also at risk.  While statistics for African Americans are 20% less, their mortality rate is higher. Bob Marley died from Melanoma.

CCMAC, said Mrs. Coyne, is proud to collaborate with the American Cancer Society in Nassau County as well as on a National Level.  We are grateful for this collaboration in addition to the commitment of our Legislators both in the past and present.  Their support of the message of sun safety and skin cancer prevention is invaluable to the community. All of us working together will truly make a difference.

The Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign was formed in 1998 after Colette Coyne’s thirty-year old daughter died from skin cancer. The foundation’s mission is to raise public awareness about skin cancer/melanoma, while changing behavior towards excessive sun exposure. For information on skin cancer prevention, contact the CCMAC at (516) 352-4227.   

Pictured with Legislator Ford are County Executive Ed Mangano, Colette Coyne, and Dr. Donna Driscoll.