November 8, 2017…Boulder County, Colorado joined Defeat Melanoma this past summer as a test site for providing free sunscreen at local trailheads. The campaign, the Great American Screen Out!, is a project aimed at increasing sunscreen usage and ultimately preventing skin cancer diagnoses by making sun protection easily accessible.
Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is increasing in the United States by 3% per year. People who spend time outdoors in Colorado face increased UV exposure due to the altitude. Subsequently, the risk of being diagnosed with a type of skin cancer in Colorado is about 1 in 3. Sunscreen usage, combined with annual skin checks, can prevent 90% of melanomas from becoming deadly. People should seek shade when possible and use physical barriers such as long sleeved shirts, long pants, and wide-brimmed hats in addition to sunscreen when they are going to be outdoors.
Boulder County is committed to the wellness of its residents. Over 60,000 acres of land are owned and managed by the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department for public recreation and enjoyment. The 2017 sunscreen program was tested at the Coalton trailhead, the Lagerman Agricultural Preserve, and the Ron Stewart Preserve at Rabbit Mountain. A multi-year agreement has been signed between the county and Defeat Melanoma to provide sunscreen and education for residents and visitors at park trailheads.
Naz Kuesh Lani Yazd, an executive at the Cancer Skin Cancer Task Force of Colorado said, “I think sunscreen dispensers are such a useful tool to impact a large number of people.” The sunscreen used was from Bright Guard and Rocky Mountain Sunscreen. The product was stored in standalone dispensers at trailheads, similar to hand sanitizer dispensers.
Defeat Melanoma is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to stopping skin cancer in its tracks. Melanoma is 90% preventable with sun protection and skin checks. Call Claudia Dulude at (602) 228-9939. Help us provide free sunscreen and education to Boulder County in 2018 by donating at http://defeatmelanoma.org.