09 July 2013

Congressional leaders establish new caucus on skin cancer

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 1, 2013) —Representatives Jim Cooper (D-TN-5th), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12th), Peter Roskam (R-IL-6th), and Charlie Dent (R-PA-15th) announced the formation of a bipartisan Congressional Member Organization that will focus on addressing a growing epidemic of skin cancer among Americans. The caucus was established through a collaborative effort led by Representative Cooper and the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS), with support from the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA).

"Members of Congress, doctors and skin cancer advocates must work together to halt the significant increase in skin cancer cases," said Rep. Cooper. "I'm looking forward to collaborating with colleagues on both sides of the aisle so that Americans have the information they need to prevent, detect and treat skin cancers."

The Congressional Skin Cancer Caucus will serve as a forum and resource for Members of Congress working to address the growing skin cancer epidemic.  The group will support legislative activities and promote public policies that raise awareness about skin cancer, foster effective skin cancer prevention outreach and education, increase screening and early detection of skin cancer, and improve access to skin cancer care and treatment.

“Mohs surgeons are excited to see the skin cancer epidemic taking a more prominent place in the eyes of our federal policymakers,“ said Brent Moody, MD, FAAD, chairman of the ACMS Public Policy Committee. “The Mohs College, in partnership with the AADA and other advocates, including federal agencies, will work with the caucus to identify opportunities to further the mission of this new organization.”

“As dermatologists on the front lines fighting skin cancer — diagnosing and treating more than two million cases each year — we are delighted to see this new caucus come to fruition,” said Dirk M. Elston, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “This bipartisan group has the potential to not only save lives but decrease skin cancer-related health care costs in the future, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. In fact, Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) data on skin cancers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) show that the incidence of skin cancer increases every year and the lifetime risk of developing the most deadly skin cancer, melanoma, is 1 in 50.