Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves announced Nassau County’s annual “May is Melanoma Awareness Month” campaign. Spearheaded by Colette Coyne, the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign (CCMAC) was formed in 1998 after Colette Coyne’s thirty-year old daughter died from skin cancer. The foundation’s mission is to raise public awareness about skin cancer/melanoma, while changing behavior towards excessive sun exposure.
“Sun exposure has long-lasting, far-reaching impacts on our skin,” said Presiding Officer Gonsalves. “It is my hope that this campaign motivates residents to be mindful of sun exposure dangers at every age, and to wear sunscreen and appropriate coverings when outdoors.”
Melanoma accounts for less than 2% of skin cancer cases but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths. Melanoma statistics from the American Cancer Society indicate that approximately 73,870 new individuals will be diagnosed in 2015 and approximately 9,940 citizens are expected to die of melanoma. Malignant Melanoma is the most prevalent cancer among women ages 25-29 and the 2nd most common cancer for young adults ages 15-29.
The rates of melanoma have been rising over the last 30 years. In 1935, one in 1,500 were diagnosed with melanoma. Currently, one in 50 will get melanoma in their lifetime. There are precautions that one can take to help avoid developing Melanoma. Sunscreen should be worn daily all year round, not just when going to the beach. Hats, sunglasses and protective clothing are important when being exposed to damaging UV Rays. Even the cloudiest day can have high levels of dangerous UV rays.
Colette Coyne, founder of the CCMAC, also warned about the dangers of tanning beds.
To promote awareness, Nassau County will be lighting the dome of the Nassau County Legislative and Excutive Building at 1550 Franklin Avenue in Mineola in yellow during the month of May.
The Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign will be hosting their 11th Annual “Miles for Melanoma 5K Run/Walk” on Sunday, May 31st at Nassau County’s Eisenhower Park, Field 2, East Meadow. To find out more information about this please visit http://www.ccmac.org/
Shown in photo above: Melanoma Survivor and Nassau County Police Officer Sharon Galvin, Legislator Rose Marie Walker, North Shore LIJ Senior Administration Director Holly Koehler, Presiding Officer Gonsalves, Nassau County Health Commissioner Larry Eisenstein, Colette Coyne, Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Founding Faculty member of North Shore LIJ’s Dept. of Dermatology Dr. Katy Burris, Health & Safety Chair of the New Hyde Park Memorial HS PTA Helen Sanudo, Legislator Howard Kopel, Legislator Judy Jacobs, and 10 year Melanoma survivor Kelli Martucci.