In sunny Arizona, skin cancer is a major health concern. A new, award-winning video out of The University Arizona aims to teach people how to detect skin cancer early through regular self-examinations.
A collaborative effort of the Arizona Cancer Center, the College of Nursing and the Learning Technologies Center's Media Services unit, the 12-minute video, "Skin Cancer: Learn to Spot it Early," has been awarded a 2009 Gold Triangle Award from the American Academy of Dermatology in the health community organization category.
The award recognizes efforts to promote increased awareness and understanding of dermatologic issues.
Lois Loescher, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing, spearheaded the project as part of a larger study, of which she is principal investigator, titled "Internet Health Information Delivery for Melanoma High-Risk Patients."
As part of the study, the video is being shown to Arizona Cancer Center melanoma patients, who are asked to fill out an online questionnaire to provide feedback on the video's effectiveness and express whether or not it has encouraged them to practice skin self-examinations.
"It's very important if you are at high risk. If you can catch skin cancers early, then you can increase your chances for survival as much as 95 percent," Loescher said. "It's a matter of general health to know your skin and be aware of any changes on your skin."
The video features a detailed demonstration of how to perform a skin self-exam, images of what to look for and testimonials from skin cancer survivors.
"We didn't feel that there were many good videos on self-exams out there," said Lisa Quale, who worked on the video project and is a health educator with the Arizona Cancer Center and the Arizona Skin Cancer Institute, a skin cancer research and care program in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. "A lot of stuff out there is really clinical and we wanted something a little more human."
Loescher said the video will be available for public viewing in the near future on the Arizona Skin Cancer Institute Web site.