January 18, 2018 | Stephen Fine, Founder and President
All Skin Cancer Lessons are not Created Equal
When trying to educate adolescents and teens about skin cancer, it’s very important that the information presented is not only correct, but also properly focused. Words that fall on primarily deaf ears are useless; rendering the material ineffective.
How do We Know?
The Melanoma Education Foundation (MEF) was founded by its president Stephen Fine in 1999, one year after his 26-year old son Daniel tragically passed away from the disease. From that day to this, Steve and the MEF have studied the most beneficial ways to get teens to absorb critical information on melanoma.
We learned long ago that concentrating on education is more impactful than research. Catching skin cancer early or preventing it before it has a chance to get started is preferable to trying to cure it long after it develops.
An excellent way to achieve that goal is give middle and high school health educators free, simple access to accurate, easily teachable information. To that end, we’ve created melanoma lessons for teachers to present to their students.
The attention span of teens has never been shorter, and few have the patience to listen intently to a long-winded monologue on a disease. That’s why it’s vital to speak to them in their own language, and make the lessons brief and easily digestible.
Our lessons were created based on the data gathered from teen focus groups. Our videos feature teens talking about their firsthand experiences directly to other teens. The MEF’s free The Melanoma Lessons are being taught in over 1,700 schools all across the United States. We know how much they’re working, too.
We’ve received hundreds of accounts and positive survey responses of melanoma being stopped dead in its tracks due to our lessons. And not only in the students themselves, but within their families. Some health educators have even saved their own lives by virtue of having information on melanoma about which they were previously unaware.
Why Are Our Melanoma Lessons More Effective than Others?
There are multiple reasons why our lessons are so successful.
- Extensive research has revealed that sun safety-based skin cancer lessons are unsuccessful in getting teens to change their behaviors toward UV (ultraviolet) ray exposure.
- Other teen skin cancer and video textbook lessons provide inadequate information on melanoma in general and none on nodular, the most lethal form of melanoma that disproportionately strikes teens, pre-teens and adolescents.
- Most skin cancer lessons overstate the importance of SPF (Sun Protection Factor), which is much less important than how much sunscreen is applied. More than 99% of sunscreen users apply far too little to achieve rated SPF values.
To Both Teachers and Parents
If you’re a teacher, do your skin cancer lessons (if any are even on the itinerary) address these issues?
If you’re a parent, are you aware of what, if anything, your teens are being taught about melanoma in school?
If the answers are “no”, we invite you to take just a few brief moments to view this award-winning, 3-minute long introductory video.
After watching the video, teachers may register to access the completely free teen melanoma lessons that have been described as the most effective on the planet.
For Steve it’s personal, and he has worked nonstop to do everything possible to spare people from the pain he and so many others have endured at the hands of this horrific and unnecessary scourge. Please, help us to help you.