Melanoma campaign enlists former football coach as spokesman


NEW YORK — A former football coach is joining an effort to educate men about the risks of a deadly form of skin cancer.

Former National Football League Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher will work with Melanoma Exposed, an educational campaign run by the Melanoma International Foundation, Melanoma Research Alliance, Melanoma Research Foundation and the Skin Cancer Foundation, with sponsorship from drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb, the organizations announced Tuesday.

"My family learned first hand that melanoma is not an opponent to be underestimated," Cowher said. "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."

According to a new survey, while men are almost twice as likely to die from melanoma as women, only 9% of men consider it a health risk. Meanwhile, the survey found only 10% of Americans are concerned about it, compared with the 12% who are concerned with wrinkles and hair loss, and 52% fail to identify multiple moles as an important risk factor for melanoma, with men significantly less likely to recognize it as a risk factor. The survey, conducted by custom research agency TNS, included 2,500 adults of various ages in the United States.

The Melanoma Exposed campaign will start at the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium in mid-June with free screenings and at season events with the Dolphins, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens.

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