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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Date: July 19, 2013


(Dover, DE) - The Delaware Division of Public Health announced its skin cancer prevention campaign and resources today: "SPF is your BFF." Every two weeks a Delawarean dies of skin cancer and Delaware's melanoma rate is increasing three times as fast as the nation.

Long-term sun exposure, sunbathing, having sunburns, or using tanning beds increases the chance of developing skin cancer. Protection from damaging and dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation is important year round.

Advertisements will appear in newspapers and on billboards statewide. In addition, Delawareans will see the skin cancer prevention ads on the Jolly Trolley in the Rehoboth, Lewes and Dewey area, and on the ocean advertising boat. DPH will also use social media such as Facebook, Google Ads, and Pandora radio.

DPH's Comprehensive Cancer Program is distributing sunscreen, educational materials, and UV light sensitive Frisbees at events this summer, including:

The latest cancer statistics show that Delaware's malignant melanoma incidence rate was increasing at a rate three times greater than the U.S. (64.3 percent for Delaware vs. 20 percent for the U.S.) from 1995-1999 through 2005-2009. While most of Delaware's malignant melanoma cases were diagnosed in the local stage, when they are the most treatable, the proportion of cases of malignant melanoma diagnosed in the regional stage doubled from 4.9 percent in the period 1980 to 1984 to 10 percent in the period 2005 to 2009.

The risk of skin cancer is greatest for persons who are fair-skinned or who have blue or green eyes; has skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun; has many large and irregularly shaped moles; and who are exposed to the sun through work and play. Persons at high risk of developing skin cancer have a history of excessive sun exposure, blistering sunburns, or indoor tanning; and have a personal or family history of skin cancer. Although there are some people who are at greater risk for developing skin cancer, skin cancer can affect anyone.

The earlier that skin cancers are detected, the less likely that they will metastasize (spread) to other body parts. See a dermatologist immediately if you have moles that are different from others, sores that do not heal, new skin growths, and moles with one or more of the ABCDE characteristics:

For more information, contact the Delaware Division of Public Health's Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at 302-744-1020; or visit or

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.