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Leading the fight against skin cancer

For over 30 years, the AAD's free skin cancer screening program has been one of the most successful association-led public health programs in U.S. history.
Since 1985, volunteer dermatologists have:

Conducted 2,711,512 screenings

Detected 271,159 suspected skin cancer lesions

Detected 30,577 suspected melanomas

- Scroll down to learn more -

Skin cancer facts

1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

Approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.

Invasive melanoma is projected to be the fifth most common cancer for men (55,150 cases) and the sixth most common cancer for women (36,120 cases) in 2018.

Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer in females age 15-29.

Raising awareness about prevention

The first step toward a world without skin cancer is educating others about prevention. The AAD has long campaigned to spread sun safety messages and increase public awareness about skin cancer through a variety of resources.

Dangers of Indoor Tanning Beds

Using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent; the risk increases with each use.

Learn more

Sun Safety

There is no such thing as a healthy tan. Any change in your natural skin color is a sign of potential skin damage.

FAQ's about sun safety

How to Select a Sunscreen

Choosing the right sunscreen can hlep reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.

Learn how to select a sunscreen

Tips on Preventing Skin Cancer

Protecting your skin from the damaging effects of sun exposure will reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Learn how to prevent skin cancer

Public Service Advertisements

The Academy’s PSAs highlight the importance of skin cancer prevention and detection.

View the Academy's PSAs

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

The AAD encourages everyone to be "Skin Cancer Heroes" by preventing skin cancer and detecting it early, when it's most treatable.

Learn how to be a Skin Cancer Hero

Raising awareness about detection

Dermatologists lead the medical community in finding and treating skin cancer. The AAD offers easy access to self-detection resources, as well directories to locate dermatologists and skin cancer screenings.

Body Mole Map

A guide to examining moles for irregularities.

Learn how to detect skin cancer

How to Check Your Skin for Skin Cancer

You can detect skin cancer early by following dermatologists’ tips for checking your skin.

Skin self-exam video

Find a Dermatologist

Access dermatologists in your area.

Find a dermatologist

Find a Free SPOTme® Skin Cancer Screening

A comprehensive listing of free skin cancer screenings.

Find a screening

Helping patients live

Volunteerism

Public health programs

SPOT Skin Cancer™

The Academy’s skin cancer public education program since 2012.

SPOTme® Skin Cancer Screenings

The Academy’s free screening program has conducted more than 2.7 million screenings since it started in 1985.

Shade Structure Program

This program, founded in 2003, has resulted in the building of 368 shade structures at pools, playgrounds, and recreation spaces.

Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™

Launched in 2014, this hiking program builds awareness and resources for the Academy’s SPOT Skin Cancer initiative through crowd sourced fundraising.

Melanoma Monday®

Since 1994, the Academy has designated the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday®.

Making history

Legislative action and advocacy

The Academy is constantly working with state dermatology societies and state legislatures to introduce and support laws and regulations that protect consumers and promote awareness about skin cancer prevention and the dangers of indoor tanning. As a result, more than 40 states have enacted tanning bed restrictions to potentially reduce the risk of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. The map shows states with indoor tanning youth access laws.

How did the screening program get started?

Darrell Rigel, MD, Clinical Professor at NYU School of Medicine, explains how dermatologists established a national skin cancer screening program 30 years ago.

The history of the ABCDEs of melanoma

Learn how doctors created the ABCDEs of melanoma to help people exam their skin.

1985
Skin Cancer Screening Program created

J.B. Howell, MD, and PeytonWeary, MD, presented the Academy with the idea of a national screening program for skin cancer.

1985
National Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Week

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed National Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Week

1994
Melanoma Monday® recommended

J.B. Howell, MD, recommended that the first Monday in May of each year be designated Melanoma Self-Examination Day or Melanoma Monday®.

1995
The first Melanoma Monday® was kicked off

1995
Former President Gerald Ford served as National Honorary Chairman

2000
Shade Structure Program

Since its inception in 2003, the Academy’s Shade Structure Program has funded 368 shade structures throughout the U.S.

2006
Guinness World Record

The Academy set a Guinness World Record for the most skin cancer screenings in a single day (10,359) on May 6, 2006.

2012
SPOT Skin Cancer™ program launches

The Academy launched SPOT Skin Cancer™, a public education initiative designed to save lives and reduce the incidence of skin cancer.

2014
Bristol-Myers Squibb donation

Bristol-Myers Squibb donated more than $4.3 million and in-kind assets to support the Academy’s SPOTme® Free Skin Cancer Screening Program.

2014
First Skin Cancer, Take a Hike!™ event

The first Skin Cancer, Take a Hike! event kicks off with a climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro, raising over $150k for skin cancer prevention and detection. Since then, AAD has expanded these events to host hikes in 5 different markets across the U.S. raising over $500k total.