The Medical Center Cancer Committee selected Skin Cancer as the primary 2015 community outreach prevention program. Skin cancer remains the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, largely affecting children and young adults between the ages of 15-29 years old. According to the American Cancer Society an estimated 1,530 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in Kentucky during 2015. It was also estimated that 9,940 deaths would occur from melanoma, affecting 6,640 men and 3,300 women in the United States. Basal and squamous cell carcinoma are related to the person’s sun exposure. Skin cancer is the most highly curable form of cancer when detected early and treated. Based on the CDC report, education increases in children’s behaviors on safety sun precautions.
The committee chose several plans of action. Multiple avenues of outreach were chosen to provide education to adults and children on Skin Cancer. The Medical Center hosted a luncheon through Women–In–Charge on Skin Cancer awareness. Elizabeth Westbrook with Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP) presented “Love the Skin You’re In” to about 30 women.
The Medical Center chose to use the publication WellNews to increase awareness of sun safety for skin cancer prevention. The summer issue of WellNews featured an article titled "Young Women Keep Tanning, Despite the Risks." This publication circulates to over 50,000 homes.
The KCP offered Derma Scan at the Health and Wellness Center in 2014. WKU Institute for Rural Health and KCP partnered with The Medical Center to offer Derma Scan at the Women’s Conference. Between these two events, 72 women received Derma Scan screenings.
In an effort to target children, Community Wellness staff from The Medical Center provided 30 minute presentations on sun safety and skin cancer prevention to four different children’s summer camps in the area. Sun safe bracelets were also provided to remind them to cover up or reapply sunscreen when in the sun. Educational materials on sun safety and sun safe bracelets were also provided by KCP at the Community Education Stand for Kids Day.