Legislator Jacobs: “May is Melanoma Awareness Month"

May is melanoma awareness month in Nassau County and Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) urges all residents to pay close attention to the constant dangers of skin cancer.

"Summer is just around the corner," Legislator Jacobs said. "Now is the ideal time to take precautionary measures to ensure skin safety. Whether the sun is brightly shining or hidden by clouds you always run the risk of over-exposure to ultra-violet rays."

Legislator Jacobs recommends regular visits to a dermatologist for skin exams and urges everyone going outdoors to use a reliable sun screen to prevent sunburn. “Use sunscreen whenever you are going out in direct sunlight, not just when you are at the beach or pool," said Legislator Jacobs. Another suggestion from Legislator Jacobs is wearing a hat, sunglasses, and proper clothing to insulate your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

Melanoma or skin cancer is the most common cancer affecting 15-29 year olds. Tanning beds can increase the cancer risk up to 75% according to recent studies. "Fair-skinned people or those who have previously dealt with cancer must be particularly vigilant,” said Legislator Jacobs. According to the American Cancer Society,
Melanoma is the most serious and most common form of skin cancer. It is diagnosed far more often in whites than in African-Americans. However, a study reported in the Journal of Surgical Oncology showed that when African Americans develop the disease, it’s deadlier. Melanoma lesions occur more often on sun-exposed skin in whites. But in African Americans, the lesions show up on the extremities, especially the soles of feet or palms of the hands. Legislator Jacobs emphasized the importance of all of us being vigilant when it comes to skin cancer.

Anyone who would like specific information about skin cancer prevention can contact the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign at 516-352-4227.