May 3, 2016
May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.
What better way to promote a national health observance, and educate your patients about the dangers of sunburn and the risk for skin cancer than through promotion and awareness at your pharmacy?
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). And, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation increases the risk for skin cancer.
Promote Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month at your pharmacy with these ideas.
“In 2016, an estimated 10,130 deaths from melanoma and 3,520 deaths from other types of skin cancer (not including keratinocyte carcinoma [KC]) will occur,” according to a study by the American Cancer Society.
Motivate your patients to wear sunscreen and to protect their skin by designating an aisle for skin care in your front end. Include signs that recommend certain sunscreens. For example, consider recommending a sweatproof sunscreen for outdoor activities and a spray-on sunscreen for children.
Also, consider offering a buy-one-get-one deal or similar promotion on sunscreen during May.
Organize an educational event at your pharmacy to raise awareness for skin cancer detection and prevention by partnering with a local dermatologist.
At the event, you could offer tips for practicing sun safety, teach your patients how to look for and detect skin cancer and even provide a free skin cancer screening.
If you don’t want to host your own event, find a free skin cancer screening in your area and ask how your pharmacy can help out with the event.
Provide relevant educational materials during Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has some helpful fact sheets and handouts on sun safety topics, including UV radiation, sun safety tips, activities for kids and more. Just print them out and share!
Post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts throughout May, or even every day, with content specific to Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. ODPHP has a useful toolkit with advice on how to promote awareness about Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, including sample tweets you can use on your Twitter account.
Posting helpful information on your pharmacy’s social media accounts and website are also a good way to raise awareness about preventing and detecting skin cancer.
Spread the word about the events and promotions you’re doing for Melanoma/Skin cancer Detection and Prevention Month by contacting your local T.V. station or newspaper and asking them to do a segment or article on your events and programs to raise awareness.
The ODPHP toolkit includes a sample media release you can customize and send to your local media outlets.
Learn how to create a pharmacy promotions calendar to plan for other national health observances.