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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
June 29, 2005

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Nathan Rudy - DHSS
609-984-7160
Janeen Lawlor - DOP
609-777-0918


 
Working Well New Jersey Campaign Educates State Workers on the Dangers of Skin Cancer


 

TRENTON, NJ — As part of an ongoing campaign focusing on public employee health and wellness, the New Jersey Departments of Personnel (DOP) and Health and Senior Services (DHSS) are providing skin cancer education to State workers through the Working Well New Jersey campaign. 

 

In conjunction with American Cancer Society (ACS), an educational presentation was held for State employees from the Departments of Law and Public Safety, Judiciary, Public Defender, Agriculture, and Health and Senior Services today at the Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton, NJ. Following the educational presentation, the American Cancer Society also provided “Derma Scan” skin cancer screenings to show employees the damage that can result from sun exposure.    

 

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types, according to the American Cancer Society.  There are more than 1 million skin cancer cases diagnosed each year in the United States.  People from all racial and ethnic groups can develop skin cancer, although those with lighter skin are at much greater risk, particularly of developing its most deadly form—melanoma. In 2005, 1,920 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in New Jersey alone.

 

“With the sun shining, I know many of my fellow New Jerseyans will be taking advantage of the many outside activities that New Jersey has to offer—such as exploring our State parks, or visiting the New Jersey Shore,” said Commissioner of Personnel Rolando Torres, Jr.  “We want to ensure that while they are enjoying the beautiful weather, that they are also taking precautions to protect themselves from skin cancer.  I thank the American Cancer Society for partnering with the State to educate our employees about how to protect themselves and their families.”

 

"This Working Well melanoma event gives state employees the information they need to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors from the harmful effects of the sun as they enjoy all the outdoor events of the Fourth of July weekend," said Commissioner of Health and Senior Services Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

 

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services offers the following tips to protect yourself from skin cancer.

 

  • Select a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and offers a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15;
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt and long pants;
  • Wear a hat with a four-inch brim that shades the face, eyes, and the back of the neck;
  • Wear proper sunglasses that protect the eyes from UV rays, reduce the risk of cataracts and protect the skin around the eyes;
  • Avoid outdoor activities during midday when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest; and
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible, whether under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter.

 

Sunburns in childhood and adolescence cause skin damage that accumulates over the years, and can contribute to skin cancer risks in adulthood.  In addition to excessive UV exposure through sunlight and tanning beds, risk factors for melanoma include having fair skin; having a history of severe sunburn; having a family history of melanoma; having multiple or unusual moles, and having reduced immune function due to organ transplant or HIV infection.

 

The American Cancer Society is one of the State’s primary partners on the Working Well initiative, and offers substantial resources on cancer prevention and early detection. 

 

“The American Cancer Society is proud to partner with the State of New Jersey on the Working Well New Jersey initiative.  We look forward to working with the State of New Jersey and offering the American Cancer Society’s resources such as cancer prevention and early detection programs, workplace solutions and patient navigation services, to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of the State employee workforce,” said Jim Nealy, COO Eastern Division, American Cancer Society. 

 

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service.  For more information about the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit its web site at www.cancer.org.

 

Working Well NJ, a partnership between the DHSS and DOP, provides the vehicle to educate and encourage public employee health and wellness.  Through this partnership, DOP and DHSS work in collaboration with public employers across the State to provide access to critical information, studies, and recommendations from a variety of noted health professionals, and county and statewide organizations. A critical component of this program is the development of alliances with some of the largest and most highly regarded non-profit health agencies in the country. These critical alliances will result in New Jersey’s public employees having access to the most up-to-date information and referral services.

 

For more information on Working Well New Jersey, or to set up interviews with the Commissioners of Personnel or Health, contact Janeen Lawlor at the Department of Personnel at (609) 777-0298, or Nathan Rudy at the Department of Health and Senior Services at (609) 984-7160. 

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