Following is a statement from John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), on the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, which was announced today:
“For the first time, the Surgeon General office has outlined a national action plan for fighting the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Despite widespread education efforts about sun safety and increased awareness about the importance of using sunscreen, skin cancer diagnoses and deaths continue to increase. By bringing national attention to this growing public health crisis, the Surgeon General is calling on all of us to reinvigorate the fight against skin cancer.
“The good news is that most skin cancers are preventable. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action outlines achievable goals and strategies to support more Americans in making healthy choices about protecting their skin.
“Lawmakers have an important role to play in urging the public to practice sun safety. We are pleased that the House passed the Sunscreen Innovation Act yesterday, which will remove roadblocks and provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the tools necessary to evaluate and approve new sunscreen ingredients for use in this country that have been available for years in Europe and Canada. ACS CAN urges the Senate to join in support of the bill to ensure that the public has access to the latest, most effective sunscreens.
“ACS CAN also advocates for legislation that protects youth from the harmful effects of indoor tanning and subjects tanning device manufacturers to strict safety and performance standards. Earlier this year, the FDA took the major step of reclassifying indoor tanning devices to a higher medical class, requiring manufacturers to display labels that warn against the use of tanning devices by those under 18. In addition, nine states now prohibit tanning device use among minors.
“As the Surgeon General noted, policymakers play a key role in the comprehensive approach needed to keep the five million people treated for skin cancer every year out of the doctor’s office. With this important national focus on skin cancer prevention there has never been a better time for lawmakers to act.”
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit http://www.acscan.org/.