May Awareness

May is a month comprised of many significant awareness efforts including Skin Cancer Awareness Month, National Cancer Research Month, Brain Cancer Awareness Month and Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. Spring into May by educating yourself on these awareness events and take action!


Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

“Do you use protection?” This is the American Academy of Dermatology’s slogan for awareness efforts for skin cancer prevention month. Did you know that the best way to prevent skin cancer is by controlling UV exposure? Using sunscreen with an SPF above 30 and wearing protective clothes are two of the best ways to protect against harmful sun exposure [i]. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United Sates and early detection is an important factor for the treatment of this disease [ii]. Learn more about how to advocate for skin cancer awareness, self-detection and test your knowledge about skin cancer:

1. Learn more using the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) infographic [i].
2. Test your knowledge of safe sun practices here [i].
3. Tell your story! Share your experience on social media using the hashtag #MySkinCancerJourney to spread awareness of skin cancer and educate others.
4. Educate yourself about the effects of UV radiation and how to prevent it [iii].
5. Learn how to perform a self-exam using this guide from the American Cancer Society [iii].


National Cancer Research Month 

This movement focuses on bringing light to the importance and impact of cancer research, as well as acknowledging the discoveries that have been made through cancer research [iv]. Research can help make an impact on cancer mortality rates and the number of those impacted by cancer [v]. Join the celebration of National Cancer Research Month by participating in this year’s theme “Bring Cancer Research to Life” [iv]. How can you bring cancer research to life?

1. Follow #ResearchSavesLives to stay up to date and advocate for National Cancer Research Month [iv].
2. Make cancer research a priority. Write to your representatives to sustain federal funding. Use this template from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) to get your letter started.
3. Share your story. Share your journey on social media to spread awareness of the importance of cancer research.


Brain Cancer Awareness Month

Brain cancer makes up approximately 1.4% of new cancer cases each year. Although low when compared to many other cancer types, the implications and cognitive effects of brain cancer can be severe. Brain cancer is the 10th deadliest cancer type in the United States and the treatment course for brain cancer can be complicated and lengthy [vii]. In addition to this, each year close to 23,000 people are diagnosed with brain cancer and nervous system cancers in the United States [viii]. How can you become an advocate for raising awareness?

1. Purchase your Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) #GoGreyInMay t-shirt here to show your support for brain cancer awareness [vi].
2. Make your voice heard on social media. Limited social media experience? Use these sample tweets to get you started [vi].
3. Create a Stand Up to Cancer tribute placard for a loved one who you stand up for, and share your placard on social media using the hashtag #IStandUpFor [ix].


Bladder Cancer Awareness Month

Bladder cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women and 11th most common cancer in men [x]. Risk factors for bladder cancer can include tobacco use, a family history of bladder cancer and exposure to certain chemicals. Close to 80,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2019 and close to 17,000 people with bladder cancer will die this year [xi]. To raise awareness, check out the below resources.

1. Walk for a cause! Join a Walk to End Bladder Cancer to show your support [x].
2. Use this Social Media Toolkit from the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) to help you create an email tweet or posts on other social media platforms [x].
3. Join an event. Check out this calendar of awareness events for ways to get involved this month [x].
4. Educate yourself and others about bladder health here [xii].


References

[i] May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from: https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/programs/skin-cancer-awareness-month 

[ii] May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from: https://www.skincancer.org/get-involved/skin-cancer-awareness-month

[iii] Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection.html

[iv] National Cancer Research Month. Retrieved from: https://www.aacr.org/Newsroom/Pages/national-cancer-research-month_

[v] May is National Cancer Research Month. Retrieved from: https://www.researchamerica.org/blog/may-national-cancer-research-month

[vi] Go Grey in May. Retrieved from: https://abc2.org/join-us/events

[vii] Brain Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from: https://www.nfcr.org/brain-cancer-awareness-month

[viii] May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from: https://www.aacrfoundation.org/Pages/may-is-brain-cancer-awareness-month.aspx

[ix] Awareness. Retrieved from: https://standuptocancer.org/what-we-do/awareness

[x] Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from: https://www.bcan.org/bladder-cancer-awareness-month/

[xi] Making Strides Against Bladder Cancer. Retrieved from: https://www.aacrfoundation.org/Pages/bladder-cancer-awareness-month.aspx

[xii] What is a Healthy Bladder. Retrieved from: https://www.urologyhealth.org/careblog/what-is-a-healthy-bladder

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