Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Persons using assistive technology might not be able to fully access information in this file. For assistance, please send e-mail to: Type 508 Accommodation and the title of the report in the subject line of e-mail.

Announcements: Skin Cancer Awareness Month — May 2012

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a time to increase awareness of the importance of the prevention, early detection, and treatment of skin cancer. Each year, approximately 2 million persons in the United States are diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancers (mostly basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas) (1). Although death rates from nonmelanoma skin cancers are low, these cancers can cause damage and disfigurement if left untreated. Malignant melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. In 2008, the most recent year for which data are available, 59,695 U.S. adults were diagnosed with melanoma, and 8,623 died from the disease (2).

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and a history of sunburn are preventable risk factors for skin cancer. CDC recommends several ways for persons to protect themselves from UV radiation: seek shade, especially during midday hours; wear clothing to protect exposed skin; wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck; wear sunglasses; use sunscreen that has a sun protection factor of 15 or higher and has both UVA and UVB protection; and avoid indoor tanning. Additional information about skin cancer is available at


  1. Rogers HW, Weinstock MA, Harris AR, et al. Incidence estimate of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States, 2006. Arch Dermatol 2010;146:283–7.
  2. CDC. United States cancer statistics: 1999–2008 (incidence and mortality). WONDER online database. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2012. Available at Accessed May 1, 2012.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #