DOS 518 - Week 5 Discussion
Initial Post: Patient Education
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.1 Most forms of skin cancer are easily cured if caught early, so an education program that has information about skin protection techniques, lifestyle choices that limit damage to the skin, skin cancer screening techniques, and how to get help, can save many lives. The Skin Cancer Foundation website (www.skincancer.org) has a wealth of information about all of these topics. The simplest types of prevention techniques are straightforward, such as covering up exposed skin, limiting sun exposure, and using sunscreen properly.2 It also addressed less commonly know ideas such as making sure to use sunglasses to protect the eyes, getting window treatments for cars, and unstanding that even in shade, ultraviolet rays can still reach the skin indirectly.
Cancer education is not just about facts and figures and tips; it can also address social trends and lifestyle choices. The "Go With Your Own Glow" campaign is a public relations effort to promote cosmetic choices that accentuate natural skin tones rather than artificially, and often dangerously, tanned skin tones.3 The campaign offers tips for using makeup to show off natural features, as well as skin care tips to keep skin clean and healthy. Education programs like this can engage audiences by giving practical tips that don't feel like the typical sage but ultimately ignored advise that is so often handed down with dire warnings. These programs make you want to comply because they offer a practical benefit in daily life rather than feeling like yet another set of rules to follow.
At Loyola, skin cancer is a hot topic, both in research and in community affairs. In mid-July, Loyola organized free skin cancer screening at a downtown beach on Lake Michigan.4 The event checked people for signs of cancer and also gave tips for playing safely in the sun. On the research side, Loyola is involved in a clinical trial to test a melanoma vaccine.5 Th goal of this research is to help develop a technique that will train patients' immune systems to attack melanoma, which can help patients with advanced disease to survive better. This is important because melanoma is the most common fatal malignancy among young adults.
- Skin cancer information. Skin Cancer Foundation Website. http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information. Accessed August 12, 2015.
- Prevention. Skin Cancer Foundation Website. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention. Accessed August 12, 2015.
- Go with your own glow. Skin Cancer Foundation Website. http://www.skincancer.org/healthy-lifestyle/go-with-your-own-glow. Accessed August 12, 2015.
- Loyola dermatologists to offer free skin cancer screenings at North Avenue Beach. Loyola Medicine Website. http://www.loyolamedicine.org/news/loyola-dermatologists-offer-free-skin-cancer-screenings-north-avenue-beach-07142015. Published July 14, 2015. Accessed August 12, 2015.
- Loyola recruiting melanoma patients for clinical trial of innovative treatment vaccine. Loyola Medicine Website. http://www.loyolamedicine.org/news/loyola-recruiting-melanoma-patients-clinical-trial-innovative-treatment-vaccine-11182013. Published June 15, 2015. Accessed August 12, 2015.