Nevada Cancer Coalition offering free sunscreen dispensers | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Cancer Coalition offering free sunscreen dispensers

Special to the Nevada Appeal

Nevada Cancer Coalition’s Christine Thompson (left) and Food Bank of Northern Nevada’s Jenny Yeager with a portable sunscreen dispenser at a Mobile Harvest stop in Reno.

Nevada Cancer Coalition is recognizing Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month by awarding five automatic sunscreen dispensers to nonprofits in Nevada.

The dispensers are a key component of the coalition's Sun Smart Nevada program, which promotes skin cancer prevention through sun safety education and access to sunscreen.

Applications for the dispenser program will be accepted through May 11.

Placing free dispensers in places where people are outdoors has shown to increase people's use of sunscreen and other sun-protective measures in cities such as Boston, Atlanta, and Tampa.

"Wearing sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to prevent skin cancer, but often people forget to slather on the SPF before heading outdoors or forget to bring extra sunscreen with them," said Cari Herington, executive director at Nevada Cancer Coalition. "Through our dispenser donation program, we hope to give community partners the tools to help the people they serve stay healthy and prevent skin cancer."

Nonprofit organizations in Nevada with a 501c3 designation are eligible to apply for an automatic sunscreen dispenser and a supply of sunscreen through May 11 at SunSmartNevada.org.

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Five organizations will be selected to receive the dispensers and will be notified the following week.

In past years Nevada Cancer Coalition has worked with organizations including Food Bank of Northern Nevada and City of Sparks Parks & Recreation to provide access to sunscreen at community locations.

"As the Mobile Harvest Coordinator at the Food Bank I get to witness the great benefit of providing access to sunscreen for our clients," said Marisol Martinez from Food Bank of Northern Nevada. "Often times our clients are exposed to direct sunlight for an hour or more and they have been very thankful every time we bring the sunscreen dispensers for their use as it prevents them from getting sunburned."

Over-exposure to the sun's UV radiation and use of indoor tanning beds are the primary causes of skin cancer, including basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Nevada's nearly 300 days of sunshine annually and often high altitudes create conditions that necessitate extra caution when enjoying the outdoors.

Nevada Cancer Coalition launched Sun Smart Nevada, and the youth program Sun Smart Schools, in 2015 to help reduce the number of skin cancer cases diagnosed in Nevada. In the U.S. skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, and in Nevada an estimated 790 people will be diagnosed with melanoma this year.

For information about skin cancer prevention and detection, or to apply for a sunscreen dispenser, visit SunSmartNevada.org.