ASDS Unveils Videos Targeting Skin Cancer Prevention

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A pair of powerful American Society for Dermatologic Surgery videos to raise awareness about the need for men to adopt sun-protective behaviors and the dangers of indoor tanning are being distributed just in time for Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May.

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A pair of powerful American Society for Dermatologic Surgery videos to raise awareness about the need for men to adopt sun-protective behaviors and the dangers of indoor tanning are being distributed just in time for Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May.

The new videos supply insight into some of the risk factors for skin cancer, by far the most common of all cancers with doctors telling more than 1 million Americans each year they have the disease.

“Most skin cancers are preventable,” said ASDS President George J. Hruza, M.D., MBA. “We believe these videos have the potential to convince people across the nation to make modest lifestyle adjustments that could save their lives. Taking the time to share these videos will make a meaningful contribution in combating the fight against skin cancer.”

ASDS member Terrence Keaney, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C., spearheaded the creation of a 30-second public service announcement and a four-minute video that use humor to drive home the importance of sun-safe behaviors in men for a video titled, “Guys, don’t be like Paul.”

“I want to raise awareness of the incidence of skin cancer among men,” said Keaney, who created these videos as his project in the ASDS Future Leaders Network program. “I wanted to incorporate humor while delivering a serious message to the audience about male skin cancer risks and prevention.”

The fictional patient is shown committing a series of skin-care blunders while taking a dismissive tone during medical appointments. The PSA links to the longer video that shows the patient ignoring the dermatologist’s advice in multiple instances only to find out later he has developed melanoma.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, only 30 percent of men in the U.S. have awareness of skin cancer warning signs. Less than half of men indicated knowledge of how to examine their skin for skin cancer compared to 59 percent of women.

The second video features Lisa Pace, a Division I college women’s basketball coach. Pace was a self-described “tan-o-holic” when she attended college. She said her habit of daily, indoor tanning sessions eventually resulted in the development of more than 80 skin cancers, five of them melanomas. Her video is titled, “Skin cancer: Coach’s toughest opponent.”

“Skin cancer is avoidable… if you use your sunscreen, stay out of the tanning beds,” Pace says in the PSA. “This is something I have to live with for the rest of my life.”

Pace has said public awareness about the perils of indoor tanning was not as pervasive when she attended college. She is hopeful more education today – such as these videos from ASDS – will dissuade others from repeating her mistake.

Multiple studies have shown that the use of indoor tanning devices, through the exposure to ultraviolet radiation, increases the user’s risk of melanoma. More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year are linked to indoor tanning, including about 245,000 basal cell carcinomas, 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas and 6,200 melanomas, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

The danger is so significant that the World Health Organization has classified indoor tanning in the highest risk category of known carcinogens. To address the public health risk from sunlamp products (such as tanning beds and tanning booths), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year reclassified the devices from low-risk to moderate-risk and began requiring them to include a visible, black-box warning stating they should not be used by anyone under age 18.

Editor’s note: Each of the two 30-second public service announcements has a corresponding, longer version video. All media outlets are encouraged to share any and all of the four videos through any of their distribution platforms. They can be viewed and downloaded from:

Please feel free to reach out if you need a different file format or resolution at jschwab(at)asds(dot)net or 847-956-9143.

About ASDS
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of your skin. ASDS members are pioneers in the field. Many are involved in the clinical studies that bring popular treatments to revitalize skin and fill and diminish wrinkles to the forefront. Their work has helped create and enhance many of the devices that remove blemishes, hair and fat, and tighten skin. Dermatologic surgeons also are experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. As the incidence of skin cancer rises, dermatologic surgeons are committed to taking steps to minimize the life-threatening effects of this disease. For more information, visit

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