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Stony Brook University Hospital Auxiliary Urges Beach-Goers to Stay Safe in the Summer Sun
Members hit local beach to educate the community about skin cancer risks
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Back row (left to right): Carrie Wachnicki, Stony Brook University Hospital Auxiliary board members  Barbara Delfyett, Loraine Sommer and Elena Middleton, Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (Town of Brookhaven) and Stony Brook University Hospital Auxiliary member Linda Shamash. Front Row (left to right) Lucas Wachnicki, Sam Middleton and Sabrina Middleton

STONY BROOK, NY, July 2, 2014 – It’s officially summer,andafter the long, cold, snowy winter, everyone is looking forward to a day at the beach, an afternoon by the pool or just catching a few rays in the backyard. To ensure that the community will have a happy and safe summer, Stony Brook University Hospital Auxiliary members hit the sand at West Meadow Beach in Stony Brook last Saturday to educate beach-goers about sun protection and skin cancer prevention.

According to medical professionals, skin cancer is on the rise, despite an increasing awareness of the risk of ultraviolet exposure. More than 3.5 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed every year in the U.S. and about one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to a recent American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) report.

Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for 30 years, including by 2.7 percent per year from 2006 to 2010 in Caucasians, according to American Cancer Society figures. Melanoma, which metastasizes and spreads to other organs, is the most common form of cancer for young adults age 25-29, the National Cancer Institute reported in 2007. As with any cancer, early detection is most important for a promising recovery. Annual, full-body examinations are the best way to prevent melanoma and late-stage skin cancer, so biopsies and less-invasive treatment are still viable options.

SBUH Auxiliary members handed out over 150 ‘goodie bags’ which included free tubes of sunscreen and an informational brochure to community members who visited the beach on June 28th. The products were courtesy of the Department of Dermatology at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. The Auxiliary hopes to continue this an annual event and would like to expand it to other area beaches.

About Stony Brook Medicine:

Stony Brook Medicine integrates and elevates all of Stony Brook University’s health-related initiatives: education, research and patient care. It includes five Health Sciences schools — Dental Medicine, Health Technology and Management, Medicine, Nursing and Social Welfare — as well as Stony Brook University Hospital and more than 50 community-based healthcare settings throughout Suffolk County. To learn more, visit www.stonybrookmedicine.edu.