Melanoma program available for schools

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A free melanoma education program, which has been implemented in more than 450 New England schools, is available for Maine high schools and middle schools. The program is sponsored by the Melanoma Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Peabody, Mass., that is having a major impact on skin cancer education in New England.

Stephen Fine, president, started the Melanoma Education Foundation after his son, Daniel, died of the disease in 1998 at age 26.

The foundation SKINCHECK program is presented live in Massachusetts, but due to distance is available via DVD video in Maine. By having a health teacher view the videotape, schools will become qualified to teach the single-session SKINCHECK class to their students.

Schools interested in adopting the program will receive a free lesson plan, student video, early detection bookmarks for their students and a teacher resource CD, all at no cost. To date, 14 Maine schools have been trained in the program, including Lewiston High School, Lewiston Middle School and Freeport Middle School.

Health teachers, school nurses or administrators interested in bringing the program to their school may call the Melanoma Education Foundation at 800-259-1633, e-mail MEF@skincheck.org, or visit http://www.skincheck.org and apply on-line.

In the 25-to-29 year age group, melanoma is the most prevalent cancer and, among women of ages 30 to 35, it is the leading cancer killer. Vulnerability begins at age 12.

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