Surgeon General Warns Skin Cancer is 'Major Public Health Problem'

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In July 2013, Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH, was appointed the United States Surgeon General. He gave a talk at a Washington Post forum preceding his official “Call to Action” that was released on July 29 regarding the increasing risk of skin cancer.


Over the last 30 years, while incidents of other cancers have decreased, incidents of melanoma have tripled. This prompted Dr. Lushniak to call skin cancer a “major public health problem that requires immediate action.” However, Dr. Lushniak said that health experts do not understand why the number of melanoma incidents have increased. The surgeon general as well as other health experts offer the same advice from overprotective mothers: wear more sunscreen, wear a hat outside, and do not go to tanning salons.


Howard K. Koh, MD, assistant secretary for health, is a skin oncologist who has worked with both older and younger patients with skin cancer. Dr. Koh said that all of the cases he has seen were due to unnecessary ultraviolet radiation exposure, frequently from spending excessive time in the sun or in tanning devices.


In addition to individual efforts, Dr. Lushniak addressed education, health care, business, government and nonprofit sectors, and families to urge against the use of indoor tanning devices.

Surgeon General warns skin cancer is ‘major public health problem’
The country's lead health officials implored Americans to better protect their skin.
The advice normally offered by overprotective, sunscreen-wielding mothers got a boost from the U.S. Surgeon General today, as the country's lead health officials implored Americans to better protect their skin.

Boris D. Lushniak, who was appointed Surgeon General in July of 2013, recently spoke at a Washington Post forum about the growing risks of skin cancer.

Incidents of melanoma are rising -- tripling over the last 30 years -- while other types of cancers are falling.


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