Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilitySummer sun kicks off Skin Cancer Awareness Month | KSNV
Close Alert

Summer sun kicks off Skin Cancer Awareness Month

FILE: Vegas heat.{ }
FILE: Vegas heat.
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

According to the American Cancer Society, more Nevadans will be diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. There's an effort underway to keep a cancer-fighting resource in the hands of locals, sunscreen.

It's an ongoing partnership among groups like the Comprehensive Cancer Centers and the Nevada Cancer Coalition. From local community centers to sports venues - like the Las Vegas Ballpark, the partnership installs free, sunscreen dispensers in public places around town.

Research shows skin cancer is among the most common forms of cancer. It's also one of the most preventable and treatable cancers, if caught early. The disease does not discriminate. It affects people of all ethnicities.

A local survivor is committed to sharing her story to anyone who will listen. She’s shared her story for nearly 20 years. Stacey Escalante is a passionate advocate for skin cancer prevention. In 2003, she was a reporter at News 3. She was also a mother to two young children, a two-year-old and six-month-old.

Escalante found a small spot, the size of a pencil eraser, on her back. Escalante said, it itched and hurt. For the first time in her life, she went to see a dermatologist. She was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

“It was very progressed and advanced. I had to get into surgery right away. I had a tumor excision on my lower back. I had a lymph node dissection of my groin. I had two years of experimental drug treatment to keep my immune system strong, because melanoma has a high reoccurrence rate. But, I’m happy to report that I’ve been cancer-free since 2005.”

Now, nearly 20 years later, the survivor’s message is just as salient. Escalante says don’t ignore the signs.

“That’s one of the biggest things we like to stress is skin checks. Don’t ignore. That’s one of the things I hear, people saywhen I heard your story, we caught it or it was stage I or we knew to keep an eye on it -any spots, moles, that really really important. If you wait like I did, all the things I had to go through, could have (been) prevented,” says Escalante.

The Nevada Cancer Coalition has spearheaded efforts, at the state level, to make cancer changes. Thanks to its efforts, Nevada prohibits teens, under the age of 18, from receiving services at tanning bed businesses.

Comment bubble

The organization says everyone should remember the 5S’s: slip, slop, slap, seek and slide. Slip-on U-V protective clothing. Slop on broad spectrum, SPF 30 or higher, sunscreen. Slap on a wide-brim hat. Seek shade, especially during peak hours. Slide on U-V protective sunglasses.

Loading ...