Protect Yourself and Loved Ones from Skin Cancer

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Monday, May 6, has been designated as Melanoma Monday to help raise awareness of melanoma and other skin cancers. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and affects more people than lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined.

“Current estimates indicate that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer during their lifetime,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “However, you can reduce your risk of skin cancer by taking a few steps to protect yourself from the sun. Seeking shade, especially during midday hours, wearing sunglasses and using sunscreen that has a sun protection factor of 15 or higher and protects against both UVA and UVB rays can help protect you and your loved ones.”

The two most common types, called basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, are highly curable. Melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more serious. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), melanoma, which accounts for five percent of skin cancer cases, causes the most skin cancer related deaths, killing one American every hour.

“Unlike many other common cancers, melanoma occurs in both younger and older people,” said Tom Rich, Director of Comprehensive Cancer Control for the Great Lakes Division of ACS. “Rates continue to increase with age and are highest among those in their 80s, but melanoma is not uncommon even among those younger than 30. In fact, it is one of the more common cancers in young adults, especially young women.”

Changes in the shape, size, and color of moles may indicate skin cancer. To help with early detection for melanoma and other skin cancers, State health officials suggest the following ABCDE guidelines when looking at a mole to determine if you should be concerned.

A = Asymmetry: One half of the mole (or lesion) does not match the other half.
B = Border: Border irregularity; the edges are ragged, notched or blurred.
C = Color: The pigmentation is not uniform, with variable degrees of tan, brown, or black.
D = Diameter: The diameter of a mole or skin lesion is greater than six millimeters (or the size of a pencil eraser). Any sudden increase in the size of an existing mole should be checked.
E = Evolution: Existing moles changing shape, size, or color.

“Skin cancer may appear differently than what is described in the ABCDE rule,” said Dr. VanNess. “If you notice any changes to existing moles or new growths on the skin, make an appointment with your health care provider for an exam.”

For more information about skin cancer in Indiana, visit the Indiana Cancer Facts and Figures 2012, a comprehensive report on the burden of cancer in Indiana at

Funding Opportunity: Prostate Cancer Educational Workshops

Excluding all types of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Indiana men and is the second leading cause of cancer death for men. During 2004-2008, according to the Indiana Cancer Facts and Figures 2012, there were approximately 3,954 cases of prostate cancer and 602 deaths per year in Indiana. African-American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than any other racial or ethnic group and they are more than twice as likely to die from the disease as white men.

Due to the uncertainties in prostate cancer screening techniques and outcomes, most organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend informed decision making. Informed decision making is defined by the CDC as when a man:

  • Understands the nature and risks of prostate cancer.
  • Understands the risks, benefits, and alternatives to prostate cancer screening.
  • Participates in decision making at a level he desires.
  • Makes a decision consistent with his preferences and values, or defers the decision to a later time.

An ICC partner, the Cancer Early Detection Section at the Indiana State Department of Health, has announced a funding opportunity for the planning and implementation of prostate cancer educational workshops that provide Indiana men, aged 40-65, with an overview of prostate cancer, risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening, and the importance of informed decision making. Please note, discussing informed decision making is a requirement in order to receive grant awards. Grant awards of up to $2,499 will be reimbursed to selected organizations for conducting these workshops.

Please visit the RFP to learn more and apply.

Funding Opportunity: Workplace Wellness Initiative

The Indiana State Department of Health Cancer Control section just released a funding opportunity to help develop a pilot program for cancer screening initiatives in the workplace. Cancer screening is critical — early detection not only increases the effectiveness of treatment, but also long-term survival rates. And, often the workplace is seen as the new frontier in health initiatives. But why? What can the workplace gain by promoting cancer screenings?

In March 2008, 63 percent of the non-institutionalized adult population, approximately 145,969,000 adults, in the U.S. was employed – this means that a bulk of the average-risk population for breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer screening could be found at work. For every employee without cancer, employers spend an average of $3,000 per year in direct medical costs. For employees with cancer, that number jumps to $16,000 per year in direct medical costs.

About 2.4 million Hoosiers, or two out of every five, will eventually develop cancer. This means that for a company that employs 100 people, 40 will develop cancer. That means for the 40 people who develop cancer the employer will spend $640,000 in direct medical costs, as opposed to the $180,000 in medical costs for the 60 healthy employees. Just in terms of dollars and cents, it makes sense to develop programs that encourage employees to participate in screenings that detect cancer early – sometimes before it is even considered cancer.

Wellness programs and initiatives in the workplace benefit the employers with a decrease in lost productivity and healthier bottom lines – but more importantly, workplace wellness and cancer screening programs save lives.

View the application for this funding opportunity.

Complete Streets [INFOGRAPH]

The city of Indianapolis adopted Indiana’s sixth Complete Streets policy on August 23. In honor of the success, the ICC has released our latest infograph that models a Complete Street, details the health and economic benefit of active transportation, and illustrates how much of Indiana is now covered by a Complete Streets policy.

Complete Streets legislation ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind including pedestrians, motorists, cyclists, mass transit riders, and those with disabilities. When “streets are complete,” alternative modes of transportation (walking, biking, etc.) are more attractive; physical activity is promoted; safety is improved for all users, and in the case of safe routes to school, safety is improved for children; and the unintended negative health outcomes of a less active lifestyle are minimized.

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Indiana Complete Streets

July is UV Safety Month

Warm weather usually means lots of time outdoors grilling out on the deck and playing in the pool. July is UV Safety Month and encourages people to protect themselves from the sun.

Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or other sources, like tanning beds, can be a big risk factor for developing skin cancer. When going outside, always take measures to protect yourself from the sun.

Listed below are tips on what you can do to prevent yourself and loved ones:

  • Limit or avoid exposure to the sun during peak hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
  • Wear sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or more that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Wear clothing that has built-in SPF in the fabric or wear protective clothing such as long sleeves and long pants.
  • Wear a hat that protects your scalp and shades your face, neck, and ears.
  • ALWAYS protect your skin—Skin is still exposed to UV rays even on cloudy days and during the winter months. Use extra caution around water, snow, and sand as they reflect the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • Avoid use of tanning beds and sun lamps.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from ocular melanoma.

According to the 2012 Indiana Cancer Facts & Figures report, skin cancers affect more people than lung, breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.  The two most common types of cancer, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, are highly curable; however, melanoma, the third most common form of skin cancer, is deadlier.

The best way to detect skin cancer early is to recognize changes in skin growths or the appearance of new growths. Adults should thoroughly examine their skin about once a month.  New or unusual lesions or a progressive change in a lesion’s appearance–size, shape or color, should be evaluated promptly by a health care provider.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released its skin cancer final recommendation statement in May. In an update to its 2003 recommendation, the USPSTF now recommends counseling children, adolescents and young adults ages 10 to 24 years who have fair skin about minimizing their exposure to ultraviolet radiation to reduce risk for and prevent incidence of skin cancer. The final recommendation statement is available on the USPSTF Web site at

To learn more information about skin cancer and melanoma, please refer to the Indiana Cancer Facts and Figures 2012.



The Impact of Cancer in Indiana [INFOGRAPH]

April is National Cancer Control Awareness Month. Cancer control month highlights advances in fighting cancer like prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer.

This month, the Indiana Cancer Consortium hosted our 2012 Annual Meeting on April 27 at Joseph E. Walther Hall at IUPUI. During the event, we unveiled the Indiana Cancer Facts and Figures 2012 and our second infograph entitled “The Impact of Cancer in Indiana.”

Please share the below infograph, which uses the most up-to-date cancer information available, with colleagues and friends.

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The Impact of Cancer in Indiana

Safe Routes to School in Indiana

Longtime ICC member Health by Design recently rebranded the Safe Routes to School Workgroup as the Indiana Safe Routes to School Partnership. Check out the Partnership’s new logo!

The Indiana Safe Routes to School Partnership is hosting many initiatives during April and May to increase the number of Hoosier Children safely walking and biking to school. The ICC supports these events and encourages our membership to attend to learn more about Safe Routes to School policy and advocacy.

Through the Indiana Cancer Control Plan 2010-2014, the ICC works to increase policies that promote physical activity for students, and we specifically advocate for Safe Routes to School programs including both infrastructure projects and educational activities that facilitate safe walking and biking to school.

Safe Routes to School programs also directly relate to the ICC Policy Agenda. The ICC advocates for Complete Streets policies at the state and local level, which ensure that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind. When “streets are complete,” alternative modes of transportation (walking, biking, etc.) are more attractive; physical activity is promoted; safety is improved for all users, and in the case of safe routes to school, safety is improved for children; and the unintended chronic disease effects of a less active lifestyle is minimized.

To learn more about the Indiana Safe Routes to School Partnership and their upcoming events, please visit the Health By Design. To learn more about how the ICC is involved, join the ICC Advocacy Committee.


HB 1149 and The Facts About Secondhand Smoke [INFOGRAPH]

On March 9, the Indiana General Assembly approved Indiana’s first statewide smoke-free air bill. While the ICC applauds the General Assembly and statewide press for giving House Bill 1149 the attention and publicity that it deserved, we cannot be satisfied with the final result. HB 1149 falls short in protecting Hoosier workers that are most vulnerable to secondhand smoke. The bill, which Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is expected to sign in the coming days, will stand as one of the weaker smoke-free air laws in the nation.

Today, the Indiana Cancer Consortium thanks all of our members for the time and effort dedicated to the strengthening and passing of HB 1149, but more importantly, we ask that our coalition quickly shifts focus to the local level. Therefore, as an aid in local conversations, the ICC proudly presents “The Facts About Secondhand Smoke” infograph. Spread the word via blogs, Facebook, and Twitter and help the ICC get secondhand smoke out of business!

Copy the following code to embed this infograph on your own site.

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Facts About Secondhand Smoke in Indiana

Funding Opportunity: Cancer Control in Public Health District 6

We are pleased to announce a Request for Applications for community grantees in District 6. Below, please find links to the RFP Brief along with two supporting documents, including an outline of contract deliverables and a work plan form. The RFP Brief contains detailed application instructions, a timeline, and a list of suggested readings. Please feel free to share these documents with organizations in District 6 that may be interested in pursuing this funding opportunity. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 16th.

As a note, Indiana Public Health District 6 includes the following counties: Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Howard, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Tipton, Union, and Wayne.

Also, please mark your calendars for the next District 6 Cancer Control Coalition meeting. It will be held on Thursday, March 1st from 10am-12pm, at the IU Ball Memorial Hospital Cancer Center. Please note that while there is a technical assistance contact phone number and email provided on the RFA, this meeting will be the only opportunity to receive in-person technical assistance on the RFA.


Job Opening: District 6 Cancer Coalition Coordinator

Purposes and Overall Responsibilities of this Position

The District 6 (D6) Cancer Coalition Coordinator works under the guidance of the Indiana Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (ICCCP) Health Policy Coordinator and Administrator of the Delaware County Health Department to support all activities associated with the D6 Cancer Control Coalition, such as: managing mini-grant process; reporting; and providing general oversight for coalition communications, events, and meetings. The D6 Cancer Coalition Coordinator will coordinate the activities of the coalition including meeting scheduling, in-kind and attendance tracking, event planning, membership recruitment, project and program support, and other duties as assigned. Work is broad in scope involving strong communication, writing, interpersonal, and organizational skills.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Facilitate mini-grant process to support the ICCCP and the Indiana Cancer Consortium (ICC) in efforts to address the disproportionate lung cancer burden in D6 through public and organizational policy initiatives, health systems change, and health communications
  • Coordinate release of a Request for Proposals, formal review process, and contract execution with mini-grantees
  • Oversee cancer control interventions carried out at the local level by mini-grantees in D6
  • Submit quarterly program activity reports to the ICCCP Health Policy Coordinator
  • Collect quarterly program activity reports specific to mini-grantee work and submit aggregate reports to the ICCCP Health Policy Coordinator
  • Fulfill additional data requests as needed to the ICCCP and ICC
  • Participate in regular meetings and/or conference calls with ICCCP Health Policy Coordinator
  • Write and implement a coalition development plan that involves participation from all sectors (education, health care, civic, faith, business, and youth) in D6
  • Develop communication channels and outreach between the coalition and: local health departments; hospitals and local health clinics; rural health clinics; federally qualified and community health centers; community mental health centers; minority health coalitions; addictions treatment facilities; Purdue Extension offices; schools – public and private; state and local policymakers; public housing authorities; local chambers of commerce; businesses; not-for-profit organizations; cancer centers; hospice/palliative care providers; and cancer registries
  • Host monthly D6 Cancer Control Coalition meetings
  • Document coalition meetings with transcribed minutes
  • Attend all required training opportunities and workshops (coordinator will be notified of all required trainings and workshops through the ICCCP Health Policy Coordinator)
  • Facilitate increased coalition membership and meeting attendance, with the goal of attaining representation from all 13 counties in D6
  • Present on the efforts, activities, and progress of the D6 Cancer Control Coalition to the ICC Steering Committee and as part of the ICC Annual Meeting (dates TBD)

Job Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in Public Health, Health Science, or a related field required. Masters of Public Health preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to interpret state and local laws, regulations, and policies pertaining to public health
  • Ability to analyze state and local level political environments to identify trends that make a policy more or less likely to be adopted
  • Ability to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing to professionals and general public
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Experience with project coordination in an interdisciplinary/team environment
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with state, local community, and/or health organizations and other stakeholders
  • Computer knowledge in Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Publisher
  • Ability to travel – Requires up to 30 percent in-state local travel
  • Resides in one of the 13 counties within D6 (Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Howard, Jay, Madison, Randolph, Rush, Tipton, Union, or Wayne)

Part-time position, up to 25 hours per week, at a rate of $18 per hour. Position housed at the Delaware County Health Department. To apply, please send cover letter with CV/resume to Katelin Ryan at by Friday, December 23, 2011. Please identify title of position in email subject line.