Safe Fun in the Sun on "Melanoma Monday"
Somerset County Kicks Off Skin Cancer Awareness Month
SOMERVILLE – Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caliguire will join representatives from the Regional Chronic Disease Coalition of Morris and Somerset Counties (RCDC) for the kickoff of Skin Cancer Awareness month at 12 p.m. on May 6, or “Melanoma Monday,” as designated by the American Academy of Dermatology.
The program will be conducted on the steps of the historic county courthouse on Main Street. In case of inclement weather, the kickoff will be moved across the street to the lobby of the county Administration Building, located at 20 Grove St.
“Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, so it is vital that we continue to educate people and raise awareness about this disease,” said Freeholder Mark Caliguire, public health and safety liaison. “We encourage all residents, including young people, to conduct self-exams and to get regular skin checkups by healthcare professionals. This form of cancer is highly treatable when caught early.”
The two most common types of skin cancer—basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas—can be cured when found early. Melanoma is more dangerous and causes the majority of skin cancer-related deaths. It is the most common form of cancer among 25-29 year olds. But melanoma also can be treated in the early stages.
Speakers at the kickoff will include Freeholder Mark Caliguire and Dr. Steven Q. Wang, director of Dermatologic Surgery and Dermatology at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center in Bernards. Dr. Wang will discuss the importance of prevention and treatment, ways to maintain healthy skin, and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of skin cancer.
Also speaking will be Colleen McDonald, who will share her personal experience as a melanoma cancer patient and survivor.
In March, artists and photographers submitted artistic interpretations of the sun for the Coalition’s Rays(Raise Awareness about your Sun) art project. Rays art will be showcased on portable banners and exhibit stands at the kickoff. Other submissions were selected for a travelling exhibit, which will be featured at venues throughout Somerset and Morris Counties.
The exhibit is currently on display at the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Art Gallery, located in the county Administration Building. From April 26 to July 26, it will be shown at the Morristown Medical Center’s Carol G. Simon Cancer Center in Morristown.
Representatives from the RCDC will be on hand to answer questions. Literature from the Cancer Support Community of Central New Jersey, Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center, Somerset Medical Center and the American Cancer Society will be available.
The RCDC, which is made possible through a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health Office of Cancer Control and Prevention, strives to prevent premature death and disability from chronic disease, especially cancer, through advocacy, education and community outreach.
For more information, contact Lucille Y-Talbot, Somerset County Health Department public health consultant coordinator, at (908) 203-6077.