County Executive to Proclaim May “Melanoma Awareness Month” in Nassau County
Mineola, NY – Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today declared May as “Melanoma Awareness Month” in Nassau County. He was joined at the announcement by: Colette Coyne, co-founder of the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign (CCMAC); Nassau County Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves, Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein and Melanoma survivors, as he promoted increased public awareness about the risk factors and warning signs associated with melanoma and other cancers of the skin.
Skin cancer and melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in America but can be prevented or cured through early diagnosis. Someone dies hourly from this disease. Statistics show that one in five will get some form of skin cancer. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and has a lifetime risk of 1 in 50. By comparison, in 1935, the disease struck only 1 in 1,500. Few people realize that melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults 20 – 35 year old and second most common among 15-29 years old. Statistics indicate there will be more than 76,250 new cases of melanoma in the United States and more than 9,180 people who will die of this disease, which translates into one death from melanoma every hour of every day.
The Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign (CCMAC) began in 1998 in response to the death of an exceptional thirty-year-old woman named Colette Marie Brigid Coyne who died 5 1/2 months after diagnosis. Colette was not a sun worshipper however had two blistering sunburns in her youth which doctors indicated were enough to trigger her melanoma at 29 years old.
“Today, Nassau County joins in the effort to combat the rise in melanoma by alerting its residents to the ongoing dangers of exposing the skin to excess sun and damaging UV light,” County Executive Mangano said. “During the month of May, I encourage everyone across our County to honor those we have lost to skin cancer and those who have survived this deadly disease by putting into daily practice the recommended preventive measures and early detection habits that have proven to save lives. It is my hope that this campaign brings awareness and prompts residents to be mindful for the betterment of their own health and wellbeing.”
Mangano announced six practical steps that can help protect the skin from the effects of the sun, including:
- Cover up;
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily;
- Wear a hat;
- Wear sunglasses that block UV rays;
- Limit direct sun exposure during midday; and
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps
And, the County Executive announced, the dome of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building will be lit blue, for the next 7 days, to raise awareness of our fight against melanoma.
The Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign will be hosting their 9th Annual Miles for Melanoma 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, May 19th at Nassau County’s Eisenhower Park, Field 2, East Meadow. To find out more information, please visit http://www.ccmac.org/.