National campaign hopes to raise skin cancer awareness, increase screening

April 1, 2006

Fairfield, N.J. ? Doak Dermatologics, a subsidiary of Bradley Pharmaceuticals, is teaming up with The Skin Cancer Foundation to offer the first-of-its-kind public awareness campaign to promote the need for skin cancer screening and early treatment. The message, literally, is being taken "on the road."

Doak's custom-designed 38-foot Mobile Diagnosis Vehicle (MDv) will be making stops in 19 cities across the country, offering free skin cancer screenings to help in the early diagnosis of actinic keratosis, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Cities included the kick-off during the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in San Francisco. The MDv will also travel to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Tampa, Miami, West Palm Beach, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, Winston-Salem, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Stamford, Conn., northern New Jersey and will wind up the tour in New York City in October.

In each city, local board certified dermatologists will conduct the screenings. A referral list of local dermatologists will be available to patients encouraging them to pursue treatment, if needed. An extensive promotional campaign will urge people to visit the MDv, and if they can't make it to the site, to see their dermatologist as soon as possible for screening. Educational materials will also be available on site. Organizers hope to reach 20 million people through the various stops and local and national media.

"When you bring a 38-foot RV to high-traffic stops attended by populations at high risk for skin cancer, you make getting screened easy," he tells Dermatology Times. "With the MDv, Doak Dermatologics and The Skin Cancer Foundation have already enabled the detection of a number of skin cancer and AK cases in people who might not have otherwise seen a dermatologist for years, if ever.

"On a larger scale, they're getting the word out about early detection improving the success of treatment and reminding people to see their dermatologists both at the MDv and online at skincancerscreeningtour.com where people can find local dermatologists by ZIP code. Dr. Lebwohl believes this will ultimately save a significant number of lives.

Bradley Pharmaceuticals President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Glassman says his company is proud to help elevate awareness among the general public to the dangers of skin cancer.

"As a provider of important topical therapies that address a variety of dermatological conditions, Doak Dermatologics has become increasingly aware of the prevalence of skin cancer," he says. "In fact, more than 1 million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year, so a minimum of educational materials disseminated as part of the program will encourage patients to be aware of the need to regularly visit their dermatologist."

Progress of the MDv and its trek across the country can be found at http://www.skincancerscreeningtour.com/.