ASDS/ASDSA Accepts ‘Call to Action’ on Skin Cancer

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Society supports goals from CDC's recent skin cancer progress report, Surgeon General

ASDS members take a comprehensive approach to combating skin cancer beginning with emphasizing prevention methods and early detection.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery actively supports the measures to fight skin cancer set forth in last month’s Skin Cancer Prevention Progress Report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Progress Report builds upon last summer’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer issued by then Acting (now Deputy) Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, a board-certified dermatologist. His Call to Action sought to establish skin cancer prevention as a national priority while identifying strategies to reverse the trend of rising skin cancer rates.

The Call to Action identified five goals designed to combat skin cancer:

  •     Increase opportunities for sun protection in outdoor settings.
  •     Provide individuals with the information they need to make informed, healthy choices about UV exposure.
  •     Promote policies that advance the national goal of preventing skin cancer.
  •     Reduce harms from indoor tanning.
  •     Strengthen research, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation related to skin cancer prevention.

ASDS and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association engage in numerous initiatives that align with these objectives. Skin cancer treatments ranked as the most-performed procedure by ASDS members for the fourth year in a row in 2014 (3.08 million procedures), but the commitment among ASDS members to lead the fight against skin cancer extends much deeper.

“Our members take a comprehensive approach to battling skin cancer – from diligent diagnosis and treatment to creative prevention efforts,” said ASDS/ASDSA President George J. Hruza, M.D., M.B.A. “We stand fully committed to serve as an ally to the CDC and the Surgeon General’s Office in this critical mission to fight skin cancer.”

Among the ASDS/ASDSA skin cancer-related initiatives that support the Call to Action:

  •     ASDSA vigorously advocates for legislation banning indoor tanning for minors and supports required posting of scientific information regarding health risks for customers. The ASDSA Board of Directors approved a formal position statement about the dangers of indoor tanning.
  •     The ASDSA Board also approved a position statement that supports policies that allow students to apply, carry and store sunscreen at schools.
  •     ASDS earned national recognition earlier this year for its Choose Skin Health program in which ASDS members offer free skin cancer screenings and skin cancer prevention materials to patients. The program was designated a 2015 Power of A Gold Award winner by American Society of Association Executives for “helping to make the world a better place.”
  •     Two ASDS public service programs – Sun Safe Soccer and Sun Safe Surfing – promote sun-protective behaviors in those sports.
  •     In May, an ASDS Board-appointed expert group of dermatologic surgeons released the first-ever consensus recommendations for the treatment and management of basal cell carcinoma, the most frequently occurring form of skin cancer.

ASDS released a pair of national public service announcement videos to coincide with Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May, one warning against indoor tanning and the other focusing on sun-safe behaviors for men.

Still, Hruza said he recognizes there is much more to be done to counteract the skin cancer epidemic. According to the CDC’s Progress Report, nearly 5 million people are treated annually for skin cancer in the United States at an estimated cost of $8.1 billion. The report shows that melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, leads to more than 9,000 deaths a year.

“A problem of this magnitude requires a concerted, societal commitment if we are going to see the desired results,” Hruza said. “ASDS/ASDSA takes this responsibility to heart and is excited to collaborate with the CDC and others who share our mission to reduce the toll skin cancer takes on Americans and our friends throughout the world.”

About ASDSA
With a membership of nearly 6,100 physicians, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association, a 501(c)6 association, was created to promote the educational and professional interests of dermatologic surgeons; provide a vehicle for advocacy and public education efforts on behalf of dermatologic surgeons and their patients; and address socioeconomic issues that impact the practice of dermatologic surgery as a specialty. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association advocates for patient safety and access to quality care, skin cancer prevention and education, and fair and appropriate office-based surgery regulation.

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 asds.net.

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Website: asds.net
Follow ASDS on Twitter: twitter.com/ASDSSkinExperts
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Locate a dermatologic surgeon in your area: asds.net/findadermatologist.aspx

Contact:
Jay Schwab
Communications Manager
American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
jschwab(at)asds.net
847-956-9143

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