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Former Pro Football Coach Bill Cowher Teams Up with Leading Advocacy Groups to Launch Melanoma ExposedT, an Educational Campaign to Raise Awareness of the Most Deadly Form of Skin ...

Tue, 05/15/2012 - 4:45am
The Associated Press

Men are almost twice as likely to die from melanoma as women,but according to a new survey, only 9 percent of men consider it a health risk, and more than half have never had a screening by a doctor.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120515/MM07052) To educate men, and the American public, about melanoma and the importance of getting screened, leading melanoma groups - Melanoma International Foundation, Melanoma Research Alliance, Melanoma Research Foundation and The Skin Cancer Foundation - have teamed up with former professional football coach Bill Cowher to help launch Melanoma ExposedT: Screen. Protect. Know. Tell. The Campaign is supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY).

"My family learned firsthand that melanoma is not an opponent to be underestimated," said Coach Bill Cowher. "My philosophy is that every person needs to have a proactive approach to protect against melanoma.  The strategy is simple: get screened, protect yourself and your family, know your risk factors, such as family history and number of moles, and most importantly, tell everyone you know to do the same." Melanoma Exposed will head to the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium in mid-June to kick off the free public skin screenings that will be held throughout the year, including select 2012 pre- and regular season events hosted by the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens. To learn more about free local screenings as well as find local dermatologists, visit www.MelanomaExposed.com.

Visitors to the campaign website can share what they've learned with family and friends by using interactive tools, such as the "Throw a Forward Pass" Facebook feature. They also can test their melanoma knowledge (and football skills) by playing Goalpost Avenue, an online educational game coached by Cowher, which is also available as an app for tablets.

"Melanoma is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer and has been on the rise for the last 30 years. While everyone is at risk, incidence rates are higher among men over 40 than among women the same age, and the trend increases as they get older.Nearly twice as many men are likely to die from melanoma each year compared to women," said Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology, New York University Langone Medical Center.  "The earlier melanoma is spotted, the easier it is to treat. Get informed, have a loved one check your back and other areas of your body you cannot see for changes in moles, get screened by a doctor and get to know your own skin.  These simple things can save your life." Americans in general are not taking the steps to protect themselves or to help ensure early detection. In fact, many fail to identify risk factors for melanoma, do not discuss their personal risk with their physicians or even receive annual skin screenings or conduct self skin exams.

Additional Exposing Melanoma Survey Findings Sponsored by the Melanoma Exposed campaign, the national survey, Exposing Melanoma, was conducted to gauge current American knowledge, perceptions and behaviors around skin health concerns and actions, especially in relation to self skin exams and skin cancer screenings.

Additional survey findings showed: -- Only 10% of Americans are concerned about melanoma compared to other conditions, such as wrinkles (12 and hair loss (12%) -- More than half of Americans fail to identify multiple moles as an important risk factor for melanoma (52* and, alarmingly, men are significantly less likely than women to recognize this risk factor (43% vs. 53 -- Although experts recommend performing monthly self skin exams,two-thirds (67 of Americans say they do not conduct a self skin exam to help detect melanoma -- Only 23% of parents with children under 18 make sure that their loved ones are screened for melanoma by a doctor at least once a year "This survey shows we have a lot of work to do.  The reality is that melanoma claims the life of one American every hour. But we are confident that with increased awareness and proactive strategies for detecting melanoma early, we can make a difference," said the Melanoma Exposed Advocacy Partnership.  "We are proud and excited to work with Bill Cowher and our professional football team partners that are helping us spread the word about melanoma." *Percentage of Americans who did not indicate having multiple moles as a risk factor; 48% identified multiple moles as a risk factor To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please visit: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/54195-melanoma-exposed/ About Melanoma        Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that is caused by the overgrowth of a type of skin cell (melanocyte) that is responsible for producing the pigment melanin that gives color to the skin and eyes. The incidence of melanoma has been increasing for the past three decades; it is estimated that approximately 70,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with the disease.  Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body, but for men, it is most often found between the shoulders and hips or the head and neck. While the majority of melanomas occur on the skin, they can develop in other areas of the body where melanocytes exist, such as the mouth.

About the Melanoma Exposed Campaign       Melanoma Exposed  is a public awareness campaign designed to educate Americans about melanoma and its risk factors and encourage them to take a more active role in their skin health. The Melanoma Exposed campaign is a partnership of the following advocacy groups and is sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb. For more information about the campaign, visit www.MelanomaExposed.com.

Melanoma International Foundation     Established in 2003, the Melanoma International Foundation (MIF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving the community at large as a valuable resource.

MIF develops, supports, and provides innovative programs for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of melanoma as well as navigating patients to clinical trials where it hopes a viable treatment will be found.

Melanoma Research Alliance The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) is a public charity formed under the auspices of the Milken Institute, with the generous founding support of Debra and Leon Black. It supports an international, cross-disciplinary group of biomedical researchers possessing clinical and scientific expertise to explore, identify and pursue innovative solutions to critical research questions, leading to better treatments and a cure for melanoma patients. Since its founding in 2007, MRA has become the largest private funder of melanoma research.

Melanoma Research Foundation The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma.

The Skin Cancer Foundation The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit www.bms.com, or follow the company on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.

About the Survey and TNS Participants in the 10-question self-administered online omnibus survey were a nationally representative sample of 2,500 adults 18 and older. The study was conducted from January 4, 2012 - January 8, 2012 using the field services of TNS. The margin of sampling error at the 95% level of confidence is plus or minus 2.0. Data are weighted to reflect accurate representation of population.

TNS is the world's largest custom research agency delivering insights and research-based business advice to its clients so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within many different industry sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across a range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development and innovation, brand and communication, stakeholder management, retail and shopper, and qualitative research. TNS is part of the Kantar Group.

SOURCE Bristol-Myers Squibb -0- 05/15/2012 /CONTACT: Amy Merves, +1-609-252-6934, amy.merves@bms.com; Melanie Brunner, +1-212-880-5234, melanie.brunner@ogilvy.com /Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120515/MM07052 PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com /Web Site: http://www.melanomaexposed.com (NYSE:BMY) / CO: Bristol-Myers Squibb; Melanoma International Foundation; Melanoma Research Alliance; Melanoma Research Foundation; The Skin Cancer Foundation ST: New York IN: HEA MTC SU: BFA PDT SVY PRN -- MM07052 -- 0000 05/15/2012 12:00:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.c

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