The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer

Washington (DC): Office of the Surgeon General (US); 2014.


This document is a Call to Action to partners in prevention from various sectors across the nation to address skin cancer as a major public health problem. Many partners are essential to this effort, including federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial governments; members of the business, health care, and education sectors; community, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations; and individuals and families. The goal of this document is to increase awareness of skin cancer and to call for actions to reduce its risk.

The first section describes the problem of skin cancer and its major risk factors. It also discusses the relationship between exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and health. The second section describes the current evidence on preventing skin cancer, including current initiatives in the United States and in other countries. The third section describes the gaps in research related to skin cancer prevention, highlighting areas of research where more work is needed. The fourth section identifies specific opportunities to prevent skin cancer by reducing UV exposure in the U.S. population and calls for nationwide action.

This document also includes six appendices, which provide further detail about specific topics. For more information about the scope of this document and definitions of commonly used terms, see Appendix 1. Appendix 2 describes symptoms of skin cancer. Appendix 3 provides a brief discussion of skin cancer screening. Success stories in skin cancer prevention are discussed in Appendix 4, and current federal efforts on skin cancer prevention are summarized in Appendix 5. Abbreviations and acronyms are listed in Appendix 6.

Publication types

  • Review