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National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, May 1996

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has designated May as National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. In 1996, an estimated 1 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed, of which approximately 95% will be squamous cell or basal cell carcinomas (1). Although the incidence of melanoma is lower than those of squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas, the case-fatality rate is highest for persons with melanoma. During 1973-1992, mortality from melanoma increased 34% -- the third highest increase of all cancers (2).

CDC, in collaboration with the AAD, has initiated the National Skin Cancer Prevention Education Program (NSCPEP) to increase public awareness about skin cancer and to help reduce the occurrence of and deaths associated with skin cancer. Goals of this program are to develop and disseminate educational messages for children, their parents, and other caregivers; develop guidelines for school curricula; evaluate the utility and value of the ultraviolet (UV) index; and develop educational messages for health-care providers.

Additional information about this month and the NSCPEP is available from the AAD, 930 North Meacham Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4965, and from CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, by telephone ({770} 488-4751), by e-mail (, or on the Internet World Wide Web (


  1. Miller DL, Weinstock MA. Nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States: incidence. J Am Acad Dermatol 1994;30:774-8.

  2. CDC. Deaths from melanoma -- United States, 1973-1992. MMWR 1995;44:337,343-7.

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