Skin Cancer Prevention

Delaware ranks 3rd in the nation for skin cancer diagnosis!

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month: here are some tips to stay sun safe now, and all year long.

Tip 1: Everyone is at Risk!

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, and protecting yourself from both UVA and UVB rays is the best way to decrease your risk. Ultraviolet (UV) rays damage the outer layer of the skin: the more you are exposed to these damaging rays (long-term sun exposure, sunbathing, indoor tanning, getting a sunburn), the higher your risk for developing skin cancer. And you can be exposed to these UV rays 365 days a year, not just in the summer!  Exposure to the sun, and its UV rays, can also cause premature aging, wrinkles, age spots, and uneven skin tone.

Tip 2: Protect Your Skin!

There are simple things you can do to protect your skin from the sun:
1. Apply sunscreen to your whole body (not just the exposed bits) 30 minutes before going outside.
2. Use a water-resistant sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection.  Make sure it is broad-spectrum and SPF 15 or higher.
3. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, immediately after swimming, or after excessive sweating.
4. Seek shade, especially between peak sun exposure hours of 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.
5. Wear wide-brimmed hats to cover your head, face, neck, and ears.
6. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block 99% or more of UV light.

Tip 3: Know Your Sun Facts!
  • The sun’s rays can reach you on cloudy or hazy days, and reflect off of water and sand.
  • Wearing a sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater can drastically decrease your risk of skin cancer
  • People with an increased risk for skin cancer include:
    • Those with family histories of skin cancer.
    • Those with fairer complexions (more likely to sunburn, which increases risk)
    • Those with freckles.
    • Those with blonde or red hair, and blue or green eyes.
    • Those who work or play outdoors frequently
    • Those with a history of indoor tanning
Tip 4: Check It Out!

Check all exposed and unexposed parts of your body.  A change in a mole, a new growth, or even an unhealed sore can be a sign of skin cancer.  Use the ABCDE Rule of Melanoma:

A – Asymmetry.  One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
B – Border. The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
C – Color. The color of the mole is not the same all over, and may include shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
D – Diameter. The spot is larger than 6 milimeters across (about 1/4 inch, or the size of a pencil eraser).
E – Evolving. The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.

Tip 5: If You’re Not Sure, Ask!

Some melanomas do not fit these rules, so please tell your doctor about any changes, new spots on the skin, or growths that do not look the same as the rest of your moles.  Please see a dermatologist if you identify anything suspicious.

May Awareness

May is…

ALS (Amyotropich Lateral Sclerosis) Awareness Month –
Arthritis Awareness Month –
Brain Tumor Awareness Month –
Celiac Disease Awareness Month –
Clean Air Month –
Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month –
Employee Health & Fitness Month –
Healthy Vision Month –
Hepatitis Awareness Month –
High Blood Pressure Education Month –
Lupus Awareness Month –
Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month –
Mental Health Awareness Month
Stroke Awareness Month –
Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month –

By Week:

May 1 – 7: National Physical Education & Sports Week –
May 6 – 12: National Nurses Week –
May 7 – 13: National Hospitals Week –
May 14 – 20: Alcohol & Other Drug-Related Birth Defects Week –
May 14 – 20: National Nursing Home Week –
May 14 – 20: Women’s Health Week –
May 13 – 19: Emphysema Awareness Week –
May 14 – 20: Food Allergy Awareness Week –
May 15 – 19: Bike to Work Week –

By Day:

May 1: Melanoma Monday (, Project ACES Day (
May 4: Children’s Mental Health Day –
May 8: Red Cross/Red Crescent Day –
May 10: School Nurse Day –
May 12: Fibromyalgia Awareness Day (
May 14: Mother’s Day
May 18: HIV/AIDS Vaccine Awareness Day –
May 24: Buckle Up America! –
May 31: World No Tobacco Day –

Statement on Vaccines

Vaccines Continue to be Tested and Proven Safe

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2017). American Academy of Pediatrics Emphasizes Safety and Importance of Vaccines. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Infant Immunizations FAQs. Retrieved from

Institute of Medicine. (2004). Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism. Retrieved from

U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2015).  Thimerosal in Vaccines: Questions and Answers. Retrieved from

In light of recent claims by politicians or appointees that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, or contain dangerous products like Thimerosal, the public health community and the Delaware Academy of Medicine/Delaware Public Health Association continue to come down on the side of science.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research is responsible for regulating vaccines in the United States.  Before a vaccine can be licensed for public use, it must be tested for safety in the laboratory, in animals, and in human clinical trials.  Human clinical trials include looking for common adverse events in a few participants (phase 1), several hundred volunteers looking for local reactions and general side effects like fever (phase 2), and establishing the effectiveness of the vaccine and determining less common side effects with thousands of participants (phase 3).  If a vaccine is to be given at the same time as another vaccine, the two vaccines are tested together (FDA, 2015).  If a dangerous effect is found, that vaccine is not licensed for public use.

Vaccines are continuously monitored following licensure by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is run by both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  The VAERS is a national system that collects all reports of adverse events following vaccination.  Phase 4 clinical studies are also conducted to further evaluate the new vaccine, and population based studies are conducted through the use of databases like the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) for the lifetime of the use of the vaccine (FDA, 2015).

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Review Committee “favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism” (IOM, 2004).  Despite this finding, “all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age or younger and marketed in the U.S. contain no thimerosal or only trace amounts” (FDA, 2015).

“Infants and young children who follow immunization schedules that spread out shots – or leave out shots – are at risk of developing diseases during the time that shots are delayed” (CDC, 2016). Vaccines “keep communities healthy, and protect some of the most vulnerable in our society” (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2017).  The Delaware Academy of Medicine will continue to advocate for vaccines and vaccine use in the state of Delaware and the United States.

Innovative Discoveries Series

Mixed-Methods with Teens: A Research Imperative

Presented by
Judy Herrman, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN
Christopher Moore, BA, LSSGB
Katie Haigh, MSN, APRN, CNP


Friday, May 12, 2017
Noon to 1 p.m.
In-person: Christiana Hospital, Room 1100
Online: Watch live at
Or join meeting ID 361095905 on the BlueJeans app on your smartphone or tablet

This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Patient-Centered Engagement Project around Chronic Kidney Disease

The Academy/DPHA is partnering with the Christiana Care Value Institute to engage patients (and their support networks) who have Chronic Kidney Disease, End-stage Renal Failure, Nephrotic Syndrome, and who have had kidney transplants. More than 20 million people over the age of 20 in the U.S. have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Because CKD patients have multiple comorbid conditions, they see numerous healthcare providers. Poor communication between physicians as well as different electronic health records systems can create fragmented patient care, resulting in suboptimal clinical outcomes. Development of a CKD registry in Delaware will join electronic health records of multiple sources to improve coordination of care. A team of patients, clinicians, and researchers are collaborating to gather information and facilitate Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) based on the CKD registry.