The Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy and Euromelanoma have come together to launch a global public awareness campaign in the fight against melanoma.

In the “2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report: Stemming the Global Epidemic,” they identify three key battlegrounds for fighting melanoma: the need to improve public awareness of melanoma risk factors; reducing intentional tanning; and making skin self-examinations a regular habit.

According to figures gathered by the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 71,434 cases of melanoma diagnosed in the United States in 2018. This translated to 9,491 deaths from melanoma. WHO predicts that by 2025, the number of cases of melanoma will rise by 14% to 81,538 with deaths increasing by 18% to 11,193. By 2040, nearly 100,795 people will be diagnosed with melanoma, a 41% increase on 2018 figures, while 15,349 will die from the disease (62% increase).

Globally, the incidence of melanoma was found to have reached epidemic proportions. Cases of melanoma are predicted to rise from 287,723 in 2018 to 340,271 in 2025, an increase of 18%. By 2040, cases will reach nearly half a million (466,914), an increase of 62%. Deaths will rise 20% from 60,712 in 2018 to 72,886 in 2025 and will reach 105,904, a 74% increase, in 2040, a media release from Melanoma Research Foundation explains.

In addition to summarizing findings from third party research, the report also includes commentary from leading dermatologists.

“The first section of the report uses hard facts and figures to quantify the scale of the problem now and how this is likely to increase. The predictions by WHO are truly shocking and must serve as a wake-up call to show that action is needed to tackle the global melanoma epidemic,” says Kyleigh LiPira, MBA, CEO of the Melanoma Research Foundation, the founding member of the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy.

Despite a widespread understanding of the link between UV exposure and melanoma, third-party research shows that knowledge is not translating into action. 92% of people recognized that sun exposure can cause health problems, but only 18% always protect their skin from the sun. What’s more, 61% of people believe having tanned skin is attractive and 49% cannot imagine coming back from a vacation without a tan.

Shockingly, more people develop skin cancer from indoor tanning than develop lung cancer because of smoking. Only 11% of people have their moles checked by a dermatologist and only 33% have checked their own skin annually, despite dermatologists recommending that skin examinations should be carried out every 4 weeks, the release continues.

“Melanoma is one of the few cancers where we can definitively identify its cause, and that means it is largely preventable,” LiPira continues. “Predictions are just that, predictions; but to stop them becoming a reality, we need worldwide action – now.”

“In the ‘2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report’ we set out the definitive actions needed to change mindsets and behaviors. It’s important that people translate their knowledge into preventative sun-safe action and it’s time to abandon beauty standards that say having a tan is sexy. It can also be deadly. We want to encourage everyone to check their skin on a monthly basis, so we asked ourselves what happens every four weeks that could serve as a reminder. Something that everyone could see, wherever they are in the world. The answer, of course, is the full moon, the concept for our 2020 campaign,” she adds.

The publication of the ‘2020 Melanoma Skin Cancer Report: Stemming the Global Epidemic’ coincides with the launch of a public awareness campaign by the Global Coalition for Melanoma Patient Advocacy and Euromelanoma. The campaign will run in more than 50 countries worldwide, and consists of leaflet distribution, posters and social media activity, per the release.

[Source(s): Melanoma Research Foundation, PRWeb]