By Daniel M. Siegel, MD, April 02, 2012
If you were in San Diego for the Annual Meeting, you could not have missed the launch of SPOT Skin Cancer™, the Academy’s new public awareness campaign designed to educate the public about skin cancer prevention and detection. The campaign’s distinctive logo and bright colors were all over the convention center — and we are looking for your help to make a similar impact when we launch to the public starting on Melanoma Monday, May 7.
The goal of SPOT Skin Cancer is a goal we as dermatologists, in our day-to-day work and as an Academy, have long committed ourselves to: preventing and detecting skin cancer. As its tagline (Prevent. Detect. Live.) suggests, SPOT will help the public to understand that skin cancer is, in fact, easy to prevent: Simply seek shade, cover up, and wear sunscreen. SPOT will also reinforce the fact that skin cancer is easy to detect — our potential patients need only look for new or changing spots on their skin. And if they do spot something that is changing, itching, or bleeding, SPOT will urge them to see a dermatologist.
How can you help make SPOT a success? First, spread the word. Use the Academy’s SPOT-branded resources, which will include the SpotSkinCancer.org website. (Linking to this site from your own practice website will help enhance recognition of the campaign.) Second, get involved by volunteering your time and expertise to help others prevent and detect skin cancer. (Many of you already do this as part of the Academy’s skin cancer screening program — I hope SPOT will inspire more of you to join your colleagues in this valuable volunteer effort.) Third, support SPOT Skin Cancer by donating to the Sustaining Fund or purchasing SPOT items, which will include t-shirts, wristbands, and water bottles with the SPOT logo on them; the funds we raise will be used to educate the public about the importance of skin cancer detection and prevention.[pagebreak]
You and the Academy will not be alone in promoting the goals of SPOT Skin Cancer. Our goal is to orchestrate a broad-based, comprehensive campaign that brings together numerous partners in the fight against skin cancer. We will seek SPOT partners among our existing corporate partners, other for-profit companies, state and subspecialty dermatology societies, the media, and the public. We imagine they will be impressed by the positive data we have collected through focus testing of adult men and women, which indicated resounding support for a skin cancer initiative of this nature. The name, logo, and colors we are using have also been tested and refined to have maximum impact.
SPOT Skin Cancer will bring together under one visual identity the many programs the Academy already has in place, including the skin cancer screening program, our skin cancer-focused PSAs, and our Shade Structure Grant program. While we are currently funding all of these activities ourselves, the additional attention and funding we expect SPOT to attract will offer us the opportunity to explore new programs to enhance our public education efforts related to skin cancer detection and prevention.
SPOT Skin Cancer will be launched to the public on Melanoma Monday, May 7, as part of National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Month®. To learn more and sign up to play your part, visit www.SpotSkinCancer.org.
Of course, we can’t forget our other missions and as this is an election year, SkinPAC needs your help. Remember, if we hit the $1 million mark my head, excluding lashes and brows, can be shaved onstage at the summer meeting by the highest donor or donors. I, of course, am not worried. I wear hats.