STATE — The New Jersey Department of Health is promoting July as Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Month to remind all New Jerseyans to take precautions to prevent skin cancer and get screened for early signs of skin cancer, because early detection saves lives.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. While the incidence of many forms of cancer are declining, the incidence of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, has been increasing for at least 30 years. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 76,600 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed nationwide in 2013, and an estimated 2,520 of those diagnoses will be in New Jersey.
“People of all ages and races need to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun,” said Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd. “Young children are especially susceptible to the sun’s UV rays, which are strongest and most harmful during mid-day. Infants should not be exposed to direct sun during the hottest part of the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and if infants are outside, care should be taken to protect them with sunscreen, a hat and an umbrella or a pop-up tent.”
This summer, the New Jersey Regional Chronic Disease Coalitions, sponsored by grant funding from the Health Department’s Office of Cancer Control and Prevention (OCCP), have once again taken to the beaches, parks and public swimming pools to provide free skin cancer screenings through Choose Your Cover, a statewide skin cancer awareness and education program. July is the peak month for the program, which runs through mid-August.
Choose Your Cover recommends a number of sun smart precautions, including using sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 and wearing protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
To promote early detection and skin cancer screening, Choose Your Cover is conducting free skin cancer screenings at a number of public locations in New Jersey including:
- Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Boardwalk, Cape May
- Great Lawn, Board & Cooper Avenues, Long Branch
- Brick Beach III, 440 Rt. 35 North, Brick
- Ship Bottom Beach, 20th St. Beach end, Ship Bottom
- Stockton and North Ocean Avenue, Seaside Park
- Belmar Beach, 5th and Ocean Avenue, Belmar
- Inspira Medical Center, 501 West Front St., Elmer
- Brinley Avenue Boardwalk, Bradley Beach
- Duke Island Park, Old York Road, Bridgewater Township
- Bee Meadow Swimming Pool, Pond Road, Whippany
- Chilton Hospital, 97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains
- 16th Street Gazebo, Brigantine
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